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Of Parts I. and II. of Bishop Colknso's Work on the Pentateuch. 

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oa ij^<^ ^<. ^ «"~TL.<^^ "r^^-^m 

-S'e<' Kotc, 2J. 436. 














' Every one truth is connected with every other truth in this great Universe 
of God. Therefore, to accept as a truth that which is not a truth is an 
evil having consequences which are indeed incalculable. There are subjects 
on which one mistake of this kind will poison all the wells of Truth, and 
affect with fatal error the whole circle of our thoughts.' 

Duke of Argyll, Reign of Law, p. 54-5. 




Th€ rif^ht 0/ transiutio\ is reserved. 


'ESE LECTURES have been suggested by the 
New Lectionary of the Church of England, 
which in various places, and especially in the 
First Lesson for the morning of Septuagesima 
Sunday,^ directs the attention of all thoughtful members 
of that Church to some, at least, of the important results 
of Modern Biblical Criticism. Henceforth, therefore, so far 
from its being forbidden within the Church of England to 
pursue such enquiries, the law itself, by commanding and 
enforcing the use of this Lectionary, prompts or, rather, 
requires us to enter upon them. It will surely now be 
necessary that, from the Pulpit and in the Sunday-School, 
more full and sound information should be imparted on these 
points from time to time than has hitherto been commonly 
supplied in English schools and churches. 

Moreover, the New Bible Commentary, ' by Bishops and 
other Clergy of the Anglican Church,' admits that we have no 
correct copy of the Ten Commandments as really uttered by 

' Sec p. I 


the Divine Voice on Sinai, and that ' the two distinct state- 
ments ' of them In Exodus and Deuteronomy, though * dif- 
fering from each other in several weighty particulars/ are 
' apparently of equal authority,' and * each is said, witll 
reiterated emphasis, to contain the words that were actually 
spoken by the Lord, and written by Him upon the stones/^ 
Further, it Instructs its readers that, generally, wherever they 
read in the Pentateuch, ' And Jehovah spake unto Moses, 
saying,' they are to conclude — not that there was any audible 
utterance, but only — that Moses felt himself moved by an 
inward Divine impulse to enact certain laws, which, however, 
he not unfrequently copied from heathen institutions, ' adopt- 
ing existing and ancient customs, with significant additions, 
as helps in the education of his people.' ^ And it informs 
them also that ^ it is by no means tmlikely that there are 
insertions of a later date, which were written, or sanctioned, 
by the Prophets and holy men, who after the Captivity 
arranged and edited the Scriptures of the Old Testament.' ^ 

Under the above circumstances, the time seems to have 
arrived for preparing a work * in which the latest information 
may be made accessible to men of ordinary culture,' ^ by one 
who has studied the question from a different point of view 
from that of these commentators, and has arrived at very dif* 
ferent conclusions. 

I have attempted to prepare such a work in these Lec- 
tures, which are Intended to lay before English readers, who 
cannot devote the time and thought needed for the study of 
larger and more technical works, the most important results 

^ B.C., I.p.335. 3 ^.c.,i.p.7i7. 

* i?.r.,I.p.494. * ^.C.,I.p.iii. 


of the criticism of the Pentateuch, and incidentally of other 
portions of the Hebrew Scriptures. The labour bestowed by 
me during the last ten years upon the Pentateuch and Book 
of Joshua, the results of which are given in Parts I-VI of my 
work already published, and in Part VII now in the press, 
has enabled me to produce here, in a compact and readable 
form, the main facts elicited by that Criticism, unencumbered 
with Hebrew quotations and the mass of minute investigation 
which that work of necessity contained. And I venture to 
hope that these Lectures may be found useful especially 
to Teachers in Day-Schools and Sunday-Schools, as well as 
to Parents among the more educated laity, who desire to 
impart to their children an intelligent knowledge of the real 
nature of these ancient books, which have filled all along, 
and still fill, so prominent a part in the religious education of 
the race. 

I have here, of course, adhered to the views set forth in my 
published volumes, which I have seen as yet no reason to 
abandon, though in some respects more, in others less, con- 
servative than those of some eminent continental writers. 
But such differences of opinion exist only on questions of 
secondary importance. These three facts may now be regarded 
as established by a very general consent of Modern Scholars 
not pledged to the support of traditionary views — (i) that no 
part of the original story of the Exodus can have been com- 
posed before the time of Samuel, (ii) that Deuteronomy was 
written not long before the Babylonish Captivity, (iii) that the 
Levitical Legislation originated during the Captivity — by 
which the notion of the Mosaic authorship and infallible 
Divine authority of the whole, or indeed of any portion, of the 


viii PREFACE. 

Pentateuch is shown to be untenable. At all events the 
reader will here have afforded him, as it were, a bird's-eye 
view of the field of controversy, and will thus be able to enter 
with more lively interest into any discussions which may yet 
arise with reference to some of the details. 

In App. I I have given at full length the Elohistic Narra- 
tive as extracted from Genesis and Exodus, and in App. II 
the Original Story of the Exodus, as it appears in the Books 
of Exodus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, when stripped of all 
later additions ; and the reader will be able to judge for him- 
self how far, as thus exhibited, these two sets of passages have 
the appearance of being continuous wholes. 

In App. Ill I have added some information about the Pre- 
Christian Cross, derived from the Edinburgh Review for 
January 1870, to which, or to my Part VI, App. 122, the 
reader is referred for further information. 

J. W. Natal. 

BiSHOPSTOWE, Natal : January 8, 1873. 

Note. — The readers of Part VI are requested to take notice that on further 
consideration I have seen reason to assign E.x.28,29, to the O.S., (see New Bible 
Cotnmejitary, critically examined, ^jtodits, 42,43, where, however, the last four lines 
in the Ans. to 43 have been inserted by a printer's mistake,) and the lists of 
Canaanite nations in E.iii.8, 17, xxxiii.2, J.ix. i,2,xi.3, to D., in addition to those 
already assigned to D, in PartVI (E.xiii. 5,xxiii.23,28,xxxiv. II, D.vii. i,xx. 17, 
J.iii. iO,xxiv. II). 

Part VII, which will be found to be occasionally referred to, is in the press. 



Preface .... 

I. The Elohist and Jehovist in Genesis 

II. The Age of the Elohist in Genesis 

III. The Jehovistic Passages in Genesis 

IV. The Age of the Jehovist in Genesis 
V. The Age of the Jehovist in Genesis further considered 

VI. The Origin of the Name Jehovah 

VII. The Age of the Jehovist in Numbers 

VIII. The Ten Commandments 

IX. Human Sacrifices in Israel 

X. The Laws on the Stone-Tables 

XL The Book found in the Temple 

XII. Jeremiah the Deuteronomist 

XIII. The Contents of Deuteronomy 

XIV. The Later or Levitical Legislation 
XV. The Later Legislation compared with the Original Story 

X VI. The Late Date of the Levitical Legislation 

XVII. The Ark and the Priesthood in the Original Story 

XVIII. The Priests and the Levites 

XIX. The Origin of the Pesach or Passover 

XX. The Real History of the Exodus . 

XXI. The Worship of the Baal in Israel 

XXII. The Historical Books from Genesis to 2 Kings 

XXIII. The Books of Ezra and Nehemiah 

XXIV. The Fictions of the Chronicler . 
XXV. The Moabite Stone 

XXVI. Concluding Remarks 













I. The Elohistic Narrative .... 
II. The Original Story of the Exodus 
III, The Pre-Christian Cross, its Universality and Meaning 


' For its essentially valid belief Religion has constantly done battle. Gross as were the dis- 
guises under which it first espoused this belief, and cherishing this belief, though it still is, under 
disfiguring vestments, it has never ceased to maintain and defend it. It has everywhere estab- 
lished and propagated one or other modification of the doctrine that all things are manifestations 
cf a Power that transcends our knowledge. . . No exposure of the logical inconsistency of its 
conclusions — no proof that each of its particular dogmas was absurd— has been able to weaken its 
allegiance to that ultimate verity for which it stands. After criticism has aboli.shed all its argu- 
lEi'Jits and reduced it to silence, there has still remained with it the indestructible consciousness 
of a truth which, however faulty the mode in which it has been expressed, was yet a truth beyond 
cavil. To this conviction its adherence has been substantially sincere. And for the guardianship 
and diffusion of it, Humanity has ever been, must ever be, its debtor. 

' But . . while in great part sincere in its fealty to the great truth it has had to uphold, it has 
often been insincere, and consequently irreligious, in maintaining the untenable doctrines by 
which it has obscured this great truth. Each of them has been age after age insisted on, in spite 
of a secret consciousness that it would not bear examination. Just as though unaware that its 
central position was impregnable. Religion has obstinately held every outpost long after it was 
obviously indefensible. . . How truly its central position is impregnable, Religion has never 
adequately realised. In the devoutest faith, as we habitually see it, there lies hidden an inner- 
most core of scepticism ; and it is this scepticism which causes that dread of inquiry displayed by 
Religion when face to face with Science. . . 

' Of Religion, then, we must always remember, that amidst its many errors and corruptions it 
has asserted and diffused a supreme verity. From the first, the recognition of this supreme 
verity, in however imperfect a manner, has been its vital element. . . The truly religious element 
of Religion has always been good ; that which has proved untenable in doctrine and vicious in 
practice, has been its irreligious element ; and from this it has been ever undergoing 

'And now observe that, all along, the agent which has effected this purification has been 
Science. We habitually overlook the fact that this has been one of its functions. Religion 
ignores its immense debt to Science ; and Science is scarcely conscious how much Religion owes 
it. Yet it is demonstrable that every ^tep by which Religion has progressed from its very low 
conception to the comparatively high one it has now reached, Science has helped it, or rather 
forced it, to take, and that even now Science is urging further steps in the same direction.'-^ 
Herbert Spenxer, Firs^ Principles, 3rd Ed., p. 100-2. 




The new Lesson for Septuagesima Sunday ; the New Lectionary, the New 
Commentary, and the New Translation ; two important admissions in the 
New Commentary ; the Elohistic and Jehovistic accounts of the Creation in 
Genesis; the characteristic differences between them ; the Elohistic narrative 
almost continuous throughout, composing the older story, which has been 
supplemented with Jehovistic insertions ; the vivacious and picturesque style 
of the Jehovist, far more anthropomorphic than that of the Elohist ; similar 
phenomena found in the earlier and later writings of other religions ; the. 
scientific difficulties in Genesis of no consequence when the composition of 
the Book is understood ; different religions become purified from within from 
time to time, as the Indian, the Jewish, and the Christian. 



OR the first time in the History of the Church of 
England the first three verses of the second 
chapter of Genesis have been pubHcly read for 
a Sunday Lesson in connection with the first 
chapter of that book, as the closing portion of the account of 
the Creation contained in that chapter. Some of you perhaps 
will have hardly noticed this fact — will have hardly perceived 
that any difference has been made in the Lesson for Septua- 
gesima Sunday — will have taken for granted that the same 
words were read on that day in your ears which have been 
read year after year ever since you were old enough to enter 
a church, and centuries before you were born. But a change 
has really been made by the lawful authority in the Church — 
small in appearance, but momentous in its consequences — 
one which opens up the whole question of Modern Biblical 
Criticism before the eyes of the Laity in every congregation, 
and will inaugurate, I believe, a new era in the life of our 
Church. In the present age, as you know, three great works 
in reference to the Bible have been taken in hand by leading 
men in the Church of England, under the authority of its 
Bishops and Archbishops — a new Lectionary, a New Com- 
mentary, and a New Translation — all professedly based upon 
the latest results of learned, as well as devout, study of the 


sacred oracles. The Translation is slowly progressing, but 
lies at present hidden in the secret chamber, and not yet 
communicated to the world. We remember, however, that 
one of the most eminent of the translators said openly in 
Convocation when this work was begun — ' I must own it is 
my belief that, when the Authorised Version has received all 
the amendments of which it is capable and which it abso- 
lutely requires, this will be found to have effected a very 
great change in many parts of the Bible ; and I think one 
effect of this will be that it will deprive many of the Clergy, 
and perhaps still more of Dissenting ministers, of some of 
their most favourite texts. We ought not to conceal from 
ourselves that it will very materially alter the text of Scrip- 
ture.' ^ The New Bible Commentary has been partially 
completed, but only so far as the Pentateuch is concerned ; 
and I may draw attention to two of the most prominent facts 
which distinguish this Commentary from any that has ever 
before been published with any semblance of authority in the 
Church of England. These are, first, the recognition that the 
two versions of the Ten Commandments, which we find in 
Exodus and Deuteronomy, * differ from each other in several 
weighty particulars,' and that neither of them represents ex- 
actly the ' Ten Words ' as they were uttered by the Divine 
Voice on Sinai ; ^ and, secondly, the not less important recog- 
nition that most of the laws in Exodus, Leviticus, and Num- 
bers, which are usually supposed to have been orally com- 
municated by the Divine Being to Moses — * JEHOVAH spake 
unto Moses ' — w-ere not so communicated at all, were merely 
the result of thought which arose by Divine inspiration in the 
mind of the human legislator,* and were adopted frequently 
' from existing and probably very ancient and widely spread 
institutions.''* But the Lectionary is completed, and is estab- 

' P.p. (TiiiRi.-WAi.L) of St. David's {Guardian, Feb. i6, 1870, /. 193). 
2 y?.r., I./.335,6. 3 /^,^^534_6 543^ * Z-^. /• 15, 16,670,717. 


lished already by law in the Church of England ; and, though 
simple and unobtrusive in appearance, it will be found, on a 
little closer consideration, to involve principles which will 
tend to revolutionize the whole system of traditionary teach- 
ing, admitting light and air into the long shut up, darkened 
and musty, chambers. 

For why is the Lesson on Septuagesima Sunday now for 
the first time made to end with the third verse of the second 
chapter of Genesis ? A glance at the Bible will show at once 
the reason. It is because the matter contained in these verses 
is precisely similar in character to that contained in the whole 
first chapter, and quite distinct from that which follows in the 
rest of the second chapter and in the third. The attention 
of thoughtful persons is thus directed to the fact that there 
are two accounts of the Creation in the Bible, one contained 
in the first chapter of Genesis and the first three verses of the 
second, the other exhibited in the rest of the second chapter, 
with which the third is closely connected. In the former of 
these the name of the Deity is always 'God,' in Hebrew 
*Elohim,' and hence this narrative is called the Elohistic 
story of the creation. In the latter narrative the name of the 
Deity is always * LORD GOD,' in Hebrew * JEHOVAH Elo- 
HIM,' except where the serpent uses it, or the woman in reply 
to the serpent ; ^ and hence this second account is called the 
Jehovistic story of the Creation. The attention, I say, of all 
thoughtful persons will now be called to the fact of the exis- 
tence of these two separate accounts by the Lesson for Sep- 
tuagesima Sunday in the New Lectionary, in which the old 
division of the chapters, sanctioned by the pious ignorance of 
past ages, which has hitherto obscured the truth for most 
English readers, is once for all deliberately set aside, and 
reason and scholarship are at last allowed their due rights 
even in the treatment of Holy Scripture. It is the duty of all 

' G.iii. 1,3,5- 


intelligent members of the Church of England to understand 
clearly the truth of this matter, which is now brought before 
them by the highest authorities, not of their Church only, but 
of the State also, by which that Church is governed ; and it 
is the duty of the clergy to set that truth in a plain intelligible 
form before the eyes of the laity. 

For not only are these two accounts of the Creation distin- 
guished by the names of the Deity employed in them ; they 
are marked also by very characteristic differences of style and 
phraseology throughout. This appears most plainly in the 
Hebrew original, and it requires some labour to bring it home 
to the apprehension of the mere English reader; nor is it 
possible to enter here at length into critical discussions like 
these. But the same peculiarities of style, which distinguish 
these two accounts of the Creation, are found also to pervade 
other portions of the Book of Genesis, except that after the 
third chapter we no longer observe the compound name 
*LoRD God,' or 'Jehovah Elohim,' but simply 'Jeho- 
vah,' ^ in the second set of passages, corresponding to the 
second account of the Creation ; whereas in that which cor- 
responds in style to the first account of the Creation only 

* Elohim ' still continues to be used,^ as in that. About one- 
fourth of the Book belongs to the writer who uses only 

* Elohim,' and is therefore called the ' Elohist ' or ' Elohistic 
writer ' ; while the writer of the rest of the Book, or the 
greater part of it, who uses freely the name ' Jehovah,' is 
called the ' Jehovist.' And it is especially to be noted that 
when the Elohistic passages are all extracted and copied one 
after another, they form a complete, connected narrative ; 
from which we infer that these must have composed the 
original story, and that the other passages were afterwards 
inserted by another writer, who wished to enlarge or supple- 

' G.iv. 1,3,4,6, &c. ■> G.v. 1,22,24, vi.9,1 1,12, 13,23, &c. 


ment the primary record. And he seems to have used the 
compound name ' Jehovah Elohim ' in the first portion of 
his work^ in order to impress upon the reader that 'JEHO- 
VAH,' of whom he goes on to speak in the later portions, is 
the same Great Being who is called simply * Elohim ' by the 
older writer, and notably in the first account of the Creation. 
It is this later writer who gives so much vivacity and spirit 
to the narrative in the Book of Genesis, and paints so graphic- 
ally the transactions which he describes. It is only he, for 
instance, who uses such expressions as * lift up the eyes and 
see,' * lift up the feet and go,' ' lift up the voice and weep,' 
' fall upon the neck and weep,' — who employs the words ' sin,' 
' swear,' ' steal,' ' smite,' * slay,' ' fear,' ' hate,' ' comfort,' * em- 
brace,' and ' love.' ^ It is his part of the story, in short, which 
abounds with those tender touches of human nature and 
expressions of emotional feeling, which for many have con- 
stituted the great charm in the narrative of Genesis ; while on 
the other hand to him also are due the darker parts of the 
histories of individual life, those, for instance, which record 
the ill-will between Cain and Abel, the strife between Lot's 
herdsmen and Abraham's, Abraham's and Abimelech's, Isaac's 
and Abimelech's, the enmity between Sarah and Hagar, Ish- 
mael and Isaac, Esau and Jacob, Jacob and Laban, Leah and 
Rachel, Joseph and his brethren, and, above all, those in- 
decent stories which have so long been offensive to our ears 
when read in the public services of the Church, but are now 
happily removed altogether from the Sunday Lessons and 
most of them from the Daily Lectionary. While no stain of 
moral weakness is attached by the older Elohistic writer to 
the character of any one of the three patriarchs, in the other 
parts of Genesis we find each of them exhibited as grievously 
faulty in some particular. It is here only we meet with the 

« G.ii,iii. « PeutN.ap. 


disobedience of Adam and Eve, the drunkenness of Noah, 
the cowardice and insincerity of Abraham, twice repeated and 
again imitated by his son Isaac, the greed and selfishness and 
incestuous conduct of Lot, the harshness and untruthfuhiess 
of Sarah, the partiahty and gross deceitfuhiess of Rebekah, 
the ready lying of Jacob, the deadly hatred of Esau, with a 
multitude of other similar incidents, which light up the more 
sober pages of the older narrative with the lurid gleams of 
human passion, or sometimes with the brighter beams of 
human affection.'^ 

It is the Jehovist also who introduces strong anthropo- 
morphic expressions, ascribing human thoughts and actions, 
passions and affections, to the Deity — who tells us how Jeho- 
vah * planted a garden ' and was ' heard walking in it in the 
cool of the day,' — how He made coats of skins and clothed 
the first man and woman — how He grudged the man being 
like Himself, and refused to let him eat of the tree of life — 
how He set a mark on Cain, and shut up the Ark after Noah, 
and came down to see the city and tower of Babel — how He 
ate bread and meat with Abraham. ^^ We find none of these 
strong anthropomorphisms in the older writer. He speaks 
indeed of Elohim * remembering ' Noah, Abraham, and 
RacheV^ making a covenant and appointing a sign of it,^^ 
appearing and speaking to Abraham and Jacob, and ' going 
up ' from them after the interview. '"* But these expressions 
are obviously very different in kind from those of the Jeho- 
vist, far less coarse and sensuous. The Elohist in short 
appears to have had nobler, purer, grander ideas of the 
nature of the Divine Being and of His paternal relations to 
mankind than those entertained by the later writer, as will 
be seen by any one who will thoughtfully read the first ac- 
count of the Creation and compare it with the second. And 

»" /'<■///. V. 47,48. " P.V/AV.43. 12 G.viii.i, xix.29, XXX.22. 

^' G.ix.8-17, xvii. 1-14 11 G.xvii. 1,22, xxxv.9,13. 


this is quite in accordance with experience in other cases, 
The early Vedas of the Hindoos were far higher in tone and 
thought than the books which correspond to a later develop- 
ment of that religion : the older portions of the Zendavesta, 
the sacred book of the Parsee religion, show the same superi- 
ority to the later additions. So the first days of Christianity 
were brighter and purer than those which followed, when 
fierce conflicts began about Creeds and Dogmas, and at last 
Christianity became the religion of the Roman Empire, and 
the celebration of pagan rites and mysteries, with the worship 
of the Queen of Heaven under the name of the Virgin, and 
the offering of the * tremendous sacrifice ' by the hands of a 
celibate priesthood, took the place of that worship of the 
heart and of the life, which was enjoined by Him who said to 
his disciples * Blessed are the meek — the merciful — the peace- 
makers — the pure in heart ! ' 

You will perceive that I have not dwelt at length upon the 
points in respect of which the accounts of the Creation and 
the Deluge, and other portions of the Book of Genesis, are 
contradicted by the most elementary results of Modern 
Science, such as are, or should be, taught in our days in any 
ordinary Village School. As soon as we know the true nature 
of the composition of the narrative, and understand that it is 
the production of different writers in different ages, who, how- 
ever devout and truly inspired for their work, never probably 
claimed for it a Divine Infallibility, nor, so far as appears, 
even pretended to be writing real history, or were supposed 
by their contemporaries to be doing anything more than 
composing from their own imagination, with the help, per- 
haps, of some traditionary reminiscences, a sketch of the early 
annals of their race, we are relieved at once from the necessity 
of reconciling all such contradictions, or of explaining them 
away by forcing the words of Scripture to mean something 
else than was intended by the writers, nor arc wc any longer 


troubled by the numerous discrepancies which are found to 
exist between one part of the story and another. These are 
only just exactly what we should expect to find under the 
circumstances of a multiplicity of writers and an unscientific 

There is much more which I might say on this interesting 
subject. But the time will not now allow of it, though I hope 
to return to it on a future occasion. For the present let us 
fix our attention for a moment on this thought, how religions, 
which have been corrupted, have a tendency to purify them- 
selves again after a time, and return to the simpler forms in 
which they first appeared, though with a great advance in 
clearness and certainty. Like the water of the Thames, 
which (they say) when stored on shipboard is at first to all 
appearance sufficiently clear for use, then becomes turbid and 
foul, and afterwards throws off" its impurities, which were held 
by it in solution, unseen, in its original state, and becomes 
very pure and good, so has it been, in more than one notable 
instance, in the history of the chief religions of mankind. 

In India, where the corruptions of the simple faith of primi- 
tive times had become multiplied beyond conception, till the 
whole land was polluted with gross sensualities, the very 
fruit of religious devotion, a new body of Reformers has 
arisen, having no connection whatever with our Missionaries, 
self-awakened, self-impelled — or rather awakened and im- 
pelled by the Spirit of God — who have shaken off" the idola- 
tries of their countrymen, and approach the Divine Being 
with prayers such as these — ' O Lord, to Thee and Thee 
alone we look for aid, for Thou art the God of Salvation, our 
only hope in this world of temptation. We pray unto Thee : 
vouchsafe to enlighten our minds and purify our hearts with 
Thy Love. Teach us to love Truth, and give us a strong 
will that we may live according to it. With all humility we 
approach Thy Divine Presence, and we prostrate our souls 


beneath Thy feet : give us, O Lord, knowledge unto Salva- 
tion. Good God, have mercy on us.'^^ 

In like manner the Jewish religion, during those sad years 
of the Captivity, purified itself from the corruptions which 
prevailed before that time, and which defiled even the Temple 
itself with the grossest abominations. The writings of Jere- 
miah ^^ and the Later Isaiah ^^ breathe the same spirit as that 
of the Elohist of Genesis, who makes the Divine Being appear 
to Abram, and say, * I am El Shaddai, Almighty God ; 
walk before me and be thou perfect. And I will establish 
My Covenant between Me and thee and thy seed after thee 
in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a GoD 
unto thee and to thy seed after thee.' ^^ 

And when this purer faith had been again corrupted by the 
priests and scribes of a later day, who laid heavy burdens 
upon men's shoulders, of rites and ceremonies and supersti- 
tious observances, burdens too heavy to be borne, the work of 
Jesus, restoring the old simple faith in the Living God, as the 
Friend and Father of all, set free once more the human mind 
from thraldom, into the glorious liberty of the children of 

And now, in this very age in which we live, Christianity 
itself, long obscured by vain traditions of warring churches, 
is cleansing itself from these corruptions, and returning to the 
first principles of that Blessed Gospel which was taught by 
Christ himself Let us rejoice to know that in this, as in 
other things, humanity is progressing from age to age, so that 
the Divine doctrine of the Fatherhood of God and the Bro- 
therhood of Men, as revealed in the life and death of Jesus, 
and in our measure in that of each of his true followers, is 
becoming more clear and plain, more purified from the gross 

'5 The Brahmo Somaj {Theol. Rro., April, 1867, /. 198). 

'« Jer.vii.23, xi.4, xxiv.7, XXX. 22, xxxi. 1,33, xxxii.38. 

" Is.xli.10,13, xliii.3, xlv.3, xlviii. 17, &c. 18 G.xvii.1,7. 


accretions of human dogmatic teaching, more manifestly the 
moral and spiritual truth which is needed for all mankind, 
the little grain, which has grown up already into a spreading 
tree, under whose branches all nations of the earth shall one 
day be sheltered, and find their long-desired refreshment and 



Recapitulation ; these views supported by the statements of Bp. Browne ; 
tlie duty of explaining such facts henceforth in the Pulpit and the Sunday- 
School, enforced by words of Abp.WHATELY ; the story of the Flood also a 
composite narrative, and recognised as such by Bp. Browne; the importance 
of teaching the truth on these points in training children; Bp. Browne's 
strange explanation of the composite character of Genesis ; meaning of the 
expression ' the Five Books of Moses ' ; the Elohistic Narrative probably 
written in the age, and perhaps by the hand, of Samuel, for the use of his 
schools ; it is the oldest part of the Bible, except perhaps some portions of 
the Book of Judges ; style of the Elohist, and indications of his age, which is 
fixed by 'the stress laid by him on Hebron ; the Book of Genesis deeply 
interesting when intelligently studied. 


HAVE drawn your attention to the fact of the 
existence of two separate accounts of the Crea- 
tion in Genesis, as indicated in the New Lec- 
tionary by the choice made of the First Lesson 
for Septuagesima Sunday. That Lesson ends with G.ii.3, 
and contains one of these two accounts, which is at variance 
with the other in some important particulars, as set forth in 
critical works. In the one, as I observed, the expression used 
invariably for the name of the Deity is simply Elohim, the 
Hebrew word for GOD, meaning ' the Awful One ' ; in the 
other we find invariably the compound name, JEIIOVAII 
Elohim, ' the Lord God,' meaning ' the Awful Living-One 
or Life-Giver.' In G.iii, which is closely connected with G.ii, 
the very same characteristic expressions recur as distinguish 
the second account of the Creation, and the same compound 
name is used for the Deity, except only in three places, where 
the writer apparently shrinks from employing the name JE- 
HOVAH in the discourse between the woman and the serpent. 
I stated also that the hands of the same two writers, the 
Elohist and Jehovist, can be distinctly traced throughout the 
Book of Genesis, and that, when the Elohistic passages are 
separated, they are found to constitute a complete consistent 


story ; from which fact it is concluded that this was the ori- 
ginal basis of the narrative, and that the Jehovistic portions 
have been inserted afterwards, adding movement and life by 
their picturesque details to the more prosaic older story. 

If all this should sound strangely in the ears of some of 
you, as something different from the old traditionary notions, 
which till very lately were taught universally in the pulpit and 
the Sunday School, and without the least misgiving w^ere 
pressed home by learned doctors and divines innumerable 
upon the consciences of their hearers, young and old, as in- 
contestable truth, which to doubt or disbelieve was the direst 
infidelity, enough to imperil the eternal safety of the soul, yet 
listen to what a Bishop of the Church of England has said in 
the New Bible Commentary ; and, while I read his words in 
your hearing, consider within yourselves whether they do not 
substantially confirm the statements I have just made. 

* In the history of the Creation, we have first, in G.i.i-ii.3, 
that which was very probably the ancient primeval record of 
the formation of the world. It may even have been commu- 
nicated to the first man in his innocence. At all events, it 
very probably was the great Semitic tradition, handed down 
from Noah to Shem, from Shem to Abraham, and from 
Abraham through Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph, to the Israelites 
who dwelt in Egypt. Without interfering with the integrity 
of this, the sacred author proceeds in the same chapter to 
add a supplementary history, briefly recapitulating the history 
of the Creation, with some little addition, in ^'.4-7, and then 
proceeding to the history of Paradise, the Fall, the Expulsion, 
and the bitter fruits of disobedience. In the first part of this 
second or supplementary history, we meet with a signal phe- 
nomenon, viz., that from ii.4 to the end of iii. the two names 
of God, Jehovah and Elohim, are used continually together. 
There is no other instance in Scripture of this continued and 
repeated use of the united names. It is evident that the 


author, who adopted the first ancient record and stamped it 
with his authority, and who desired to bring his people to the 
worship of the great Self-cxistcnt Jehovah, used this method 
of transition from the ancient EloJiistic document to his own 
more immediate narrative, in order that he might more for- 
cibly impress upon his readers that the Elohim who created 
all things was also the Jehovah who had revealed Himself 
to Moses.' ^ 

When facts like these have been stated so plainly under 
such high authority, surely no blame can be attached hence- 
forth to any who may think it right to teach these things 
openly in the pulpit or the Sunday School. Rather, it is 
clearly the bounden duty of all truth-loving, truth-speaking 
men, of all intelligent teachers of all denominations, to study 
these questions earnestly and devoutly with such means as 
they have at their disposal, and first, as far as possible, ascer- 
tain the Truth for themselves, and then in God's Name 
convey it to others. For how can we serve the Living and 
True God, except so far as we are servants of the Truth } 
And how can we be servants of the Truth, if we knowingly 
shut our eyes to facts which we do not like, because they 
conflict with our preconceived notions, and if we not only do 
this ourselves, but attempt to close, or to keep shut, or to 
throw dust in, the eyes of others under our influence, that 
they may not be able to see the facts which God's wise Pro- 
vidence, in this age of the world, has made known to us for 
our instruction and guidance in life t Those are solemn 
words of a late Archbishop of our Church, well worthy to 
be weighed by religious as well as scientific teachers of all 
classes : — 

* He who propagates a delusion, and he who connives at it 
when already existing, both alike tamper with Truth. We 

' Bp. Browne, B.C., I.p.27,28. 


must neither lead nor leave men to mistake falsehood for 
Truth. Not to undeceive, is to deceive. The giving, or not 
correcting, false reasons for right conclusions, false grounds 
for right belief, false principles for right practice, — the hold- 
ing forth or fostering false consolations, false encouragements, 
or false sanctions, or conniving at their being held forth or 
believed, — are all pious frauds. This springs from, and it 
will foster and increase, a want of veneration for Truth : it is 
an affront put upon the Spirit of Truth.' ^ 

The fact, then, of the existence of these two separate ac- 
counts of the Creation — one ' the ancient Elohistic document,' 
the other a ' a supplementary history ' — will probably be re- 
cognized henceforth by well informed Christians as a matter 
beyond all doubt or dispute, as much so as the fact of the 
Earth's motion round the Sun, which was once so fiercely 
contested, but is now taught, as an elementary truth, in every 
nursery, without any fear of true Religion, true Christianity, 
being darkened or corrupted thereby. And the same is true, 
though not to the same extent, of the story of the Flood. 
As the writer in the New Commentary again observes — ' If 
the basis of the history of the Flood were an ancient Elohistic 
document, Moses appears to have interwoven it with a further 
narrative of his own. The one portion may be marked with 
the prevalence of one name, the other by that of another 
name, for God ; but the consistency of the one with the other 
is complete throughout.' ^ This fact, I repeat, of the exis- 
tence of a compound authorship in Genesis must surely be 
taught henceforth among the first elements of Biblical know- 
ledge by all Christian pastors and parents, at once intelligent 
as well as devout, and knowing that no good whatever can 
come in the end of 'speaking lies in the Name of the Lord '^ 
— must be taught, if not in the nursery, yet at least in the 

' Abp. Whately {Bacon^s Essays with Annotations, P-li)- 
« Bp. Browne, B.C., I. p. 28. * Zech.xiii.3. 


school-room, — the differences in style between the two narra- 
tives, their probable ages, the discrepancies between them, 
and the contradictions they exhibit to well-known facts of 
Science, being pointed out wisely beforehand, as soon as the 
child is able to understand such things or begins to feel an 
interest in them. Thus it will learn from the first to take a 
true view of the nature of Divine Revelation as we find it in 
the Bible, and escape the misery into which so many have 
been plunged for want of such faithfulness on the part of 
their religious guides — faithfulness in learning, as well as in 
teaching, the Truth — when it comes to mature years, in this 
age of searching enquiry and seething controversy, and finds 
out these things for the first time for itself. 

I pointed out in my former Lecture some differences in 
style between the two writers, as much as the time and occa- 
sion allowed ; and generally I noticed the stately solemn 
march of the one narrative and the sprightly vivacity of the 
other. What now shall be said about the ages in which these 
two accounts were written } The old traditionary notion 
supposes that they were both composed by Moses. The New 
Commentary, as you have heard, maintains that only the later 
Jehovistic passages are properly the work of Moses. The 
Elohistic story, according to this Commentary, was * the an- 
cient primeval record of the foundation of the world,' 'the 
great Semitic tradition,' which had been * handed down from 
Noah to Shem, from Shem to Abraham, and from Abraham 
through Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph, to the Israelites in Egypt,' 
and from them was at last communicated to Moses. Thus 
the writer says: — 'Some portions of the narrative do indeed 
present what is called an Elohistic aspect, and especially 
those portions which in their very nature are most likely to 
have existed in the traditions current of old time among the 
Israelites, viz., the general account of the Creation, the Flood, 
the covenant of Circumcision made with Abraham, and the 

c 2 


genealogical tables. These, then, Moses appears to have 
adopted, much as he found them, perhaps perpetuating, word 
for word, in his writings what before had been floating in 
unwritten record.' ^ But who can believe that this ' ancient 
primeval record of the foundation of the world ' could have 
been handed down unchanged by oral tradition from one 
person to another, *word for word,' in the form in which 
Adam first delivered it, in the course of 2,500 years— who, at 
least, that knows how greatly a story is invariably altered by 
passing through the mouths of merely three or four persons } 

The truth is, that it is merely assumed, without any ground 
of reason whatever, that Moses wrote the five Books which 
compose the Pentateuch. No doubt they are commonly 
called the five ' Books of Moses.' But so we speak of the 
Book of Judges or the two Books of Kings, without supposing 
that these were written by the Judges or the Kings, as we 
speak in like manner of the two Books of Samuel, without 
meaning to say that they were written by Samuel, who, in 
fact, dies and is buried in iS.xxv.i. These expressions mean 
only the Books about the Judges, the Kings, or Samuel, re- 
spectively ; and so the five Books of Moses mean the Books 
about Moses, the Books in which Moses is the principal 
agent, the prominent figure ; so that we need not now con- 
sider the question whether Moses wrote the account of his 
own death and burial in D.xxxiv, or set down this character 
of himself for future ages — 'Now the man Moses was very 
meek, above all the men that were upon the face of the 
earth.' 6 

It is probable that the earliest portion of the Pentateuch, 
the ' ancient Elohistic document,' was composed in the age, 
and, if so, then perhaps by the hand of Samuel. This great 
prophet, the last of the * Judges ' of Israel,^ evidently laboured 

» Bp. Browne, B.C,^ I.p.27. 

• N.xii.3. » iS.vii.6, 15-17. 


much to improve the condition of his people, and, among 
other measures for that end, he appears to have instituted 
schools or colleges for the education of young men, who 
should take an active part hereafter in teaching and exhort- 
ing their brethren. These were the so-called ' schools of the 
prophets ' ; and, accordingly, we read in one place of a ' com- 
pany of prophets coming down from the high-place with a 
psaltery and a tabret and a pipe and a harp before them, and 
prophesying,' ® and in another of ' the company of prophets 
prophesying, and Samuel standing as appointed over them,' ^ 
and of the servants of Saul, and Saul himself, prophesying 
also, so that the proverb went abroad, * Is Saul also among 
the prophets ? ' ^° So, again, in later days we read of the 
' sons of the prophets,' who lived at Bethel, Jericho, the Gilgal, 
&c.^^ — young men, it is plain, who were not ^prophets ' them- 
selves in the higher sense of the word, but were trained under 
prophets, such as Samuel, Nathan, Gad, and probably, as I 
have said, with a view to their being usefully employed in 
their turn in giving like instruction to others. The practice 
of singing psalms to the sound of musical instruments evi- 
dently formed some part of their occupation ; and, accord- 
ingly, in the Book of Chronicles we read of the choristers in 
David's time, who ^prophesied with harps, with psalteries, and 
with cymbals,' * according to the order of the king,' 'to give 
thanks and to praise the Lord.' '* But they cannot always 
have been employed in these ' schools ' in singing psalms. 
And there can be little doubt that for the use of such places 
the first attempts were made to set down in writing the early 
history of Israel, and, if so, then Samuel himself would most 
probably have taken some prominent part in this work. 

Perhaps the oldest parts of the Bible are some portions of 
tho Book of Judges, containing an account of events occurring 

8 1S.X.5. " 1S.xix.20. *<• iS.x. io-i3,xix.2o-24. 

'2 I Ch. XXV. I -3. 


during the rude times which immediately preceded the age of 
Samuel. And then comes * the ancient Elohistic document,' 
the older story of the patriarchal times, which we find in the 
Book of Genesis, — perhaps, as I, have said, from the hand of 
Samuel himself. The style of this narrative is grave, prosaic, 
unadorned, abounding with repetitions, yet not without a 
certain grandeur and majesty, which accords well with our 
conceptions of a very early age, before the advance of litera- 
ture and the progress of civilization had supplied the language 
with the more refined and picturesque expressions, which are 
so frequently employed by the Jehovist, but are almost wholly 
wanting in the older writer. In the whole Elohistic Narrative 
there is no instance of a story of indecency, whereas the 
Jehovistic additions abound with them.^^ The crimes, which 
the Elohist refers to as most common, are crimes of ' violence,' 
which in his view were the main cause of the Flood,''* and 
against which he expressly provides, * Whoso sheddeth man's 
blood, by man shall his blood be shed.' ^^ He nowhere men- 
tions any of the luxuries of later times ; he knows nothing of 
golden bracelets, earrings, or necklaces ; he never even men- 
tions the sword. This last fact corresponds to the state of 
things in Israel in Samuel's time, when * there was no smith 
found throughout the land of Israel ; for the Philistines said, 
lest the Hebrews make them swords or spears : so it came to 
pass that in the day of battle there was neither sword nor 
spear found in the hand of any of the people that were with 
Saul and Jonathan ; only with Saul and Jonathan his son 
there were found.' ^^ In one place only does he name either 
of the precious metals ; and then Abraham weighs out to 
Ephron 400 shekels of silver * passing current with the mer- 
chant.' '^ His language, in short, betrays everywhere a primi- 
tive condition of society, before the arts had made progress 

'^ G.xix.4.9,30-38, xxxiv, xxxviii, xxxix. '* 11,14. 

** G.ix.6. " iS.xiii. 19,22. '' G.xxiii. 15,16. 


in Israel, Moreover, he makes no allusion to priests or sacri- 
fices. All that Jacob does, when he sets up his pillar and 
calls the place, where El Shaddai, ' GoD Almighty,' had 
appeared to him, by the name of Beth-El, that is, * House of 
God,' is to * pour a drink-offering and oil upon it.' ^^ That 
priests existed and sacrifices were offered in the writer's 
day in Israel, as among the surrounding nations, cannot 
be doubted. But, it is clear, he laid no special stress on 
priestly matters. He lived at a time v/hen there was no 
gorgeous ritual, no splendid temple, no complex system of 

All this agrees closely with the age of Samuel, and other 
arguments might be produced which point very strongly in 
the same direction, especially the fact that the writer lays 
such very great stress upon Abraham's having purchased 
from the Hittites the * field of Machpelah,' the site of the city 
of Hebron. He describes, for instance, the conveyance of 
this land to Abraham in terms of almost legal precision : — 
* The field of Ephron, which was in Machpelah, which was east 
of Mamre, the field and the cave that was in it, and all the 
trees that were in the field, that were in all the borders round 
about, were confirmed to Abraham for a possession in the 
presence of the sons of Heth, before all that went in at the 
gate of the city.' ^^ He evidently wished this place to be re- 
garded as the most venerable and sacred in the whole land of 
Israel. He repeats, again and again,^" that from the earliest 
times it had been acquired by Abraham their great fore- 
father, not by conquest or by gift, but by friendly purchase, 
that he might secure for himself and his descendants for ever 
an incontestable right to it. It had been made the residence 
of each of the patriarchs,^^ and there each of them was buried 

J« G. XXXV. 14. '* G.xxiii.17,18. 

20 G.xxiii.17, 18,20, XXV. 10, xHx.30,32, 1.13. 

*• G.xxiii.2, xxxv.27, comf. also xxxvii. 14, a later insertion. 


as also their wives, Sarah, Rebekah, Leah.^^ How dear, then, 
should Hebron be to the affections of every Israelite ! How 
touching were all these memories connected with it ! 

But why so much stress laid on Hebron ? If we turn to 
the history we read that, after Saul's death, ^ David enquired 
of Jehovah saying, Shall I go up into any of the cities of 
Judah ? And JEHOVAH said unto him. Go up, and David 
said. Whither shall I go up ? and He said, Unto Hebron.' *' 
Thus, by the authority of some priest or prophet, answering 
in Jehovah's name, David was directed to make Hebron the 
central seat of his government. Accordingly for seven years 
and a half David reigned over Judah in Hebron,^'' while Ish- 
bosheth, Saul's son, reigned over the Ten Tribes at Maha- 
naim.25 But after Ishbosheth's death * all the elders of Israel 
came to the king to Hebron ; and king David made a league 
with them in Hebron before Jehovah; and they anointed 
David king over Israel.' ^^ And now, being thus strength- 
ened, he captures at once the stronghold of Zion from its 
Jebusite inhabitants, and makes Jerusalem henceforth his 
capital; 2^ after which Hebron is named no more in the 
history, except that David's rebel son Absalom also set up 
his kingdom at Hebron.^^ It seems highly improbable that 
so much importance would have been ascribed by the Elohist 
to Hebron if he wrote after the first seven years of David's 
reign, when Jerusalem had been made the royal city. It is 
clear, however, that David's priestly or prophetical advisers 
advised him at first to make Hebron his capital. And with 
this in view most probably the passages in question in the 
Book of Genesis were written — perhaps, as I have said, by 
Samuel himself, in accordance with advice which he had 
given to his young friend David, ^^ whom he had long marked 
out as the future king.^o 

" G.xxiii. 19, XXV. 9, 10, xlix.31, 1.13. 23 2S.ii. I. 

2* 2S.ii.11. 25 2S.ii.8, 12,29. ^* 2S.V.3. 27 2S.v.6,7,i3,i4. 

» 2S.xv.7,9,io. -MS.xix. 18, 19,22. 3c js,xv.28, xvi.i-13. 


In this way light is thrown upon the origin and contents 
of the * ancient Elohistic document' And, studied in this 
manner, the Book of Genesis becomes most deeply interest- 
ing, not only from an historical point of view, as reflecting the 
colour of the times in which the different portions of it were 
written, but as revealing also the thoughts of our brethren, 
quickened by the self-same Spirit as we are, nearly three 
thousand years ago — as recording the first movements of 
higher Divine Life in the hearts of men of the Hebrew race, 
from which our own religious life has been to a great extent 
derived, the kindling of that spiritual flame, which in Israel's 
worst days was never suffered to be quite extinguished, but, 
fed from time to time with fresh supplies from the Eternal 
Source, beamed out at length upon the nations bright and 
clear, in the full glory of the Teaching of Christ. 



The New Lesson for Quinquagesima Sunday; G.ix. I-17 Eloliistic, and 
pointing to the age of Samuel; G.ix. 28, 29, Elohistic like G.v. ; the cri- 
teria which distinguish the Elohistic passages ; only these show signs of 
continuity ; the Jehovistic accounts of the Creation and Fall, Cain and his 
descendants, and the race of giants ; the probable origin of this legend of a 
giant race ; the older story is sometimes merely retouched by the Jehovist, 
as in the notice of Noah's birth in G.v. and the account of the Flood; 
contradictions introduced by these insertions ; final proof of the Elohist 
having lived in the age of Samuel ; first indication of the Jehovist having 
lived in the age of David or Solomon j the rainbow, a true sign of God's 
Covenant with man. 


HE First Lesson for Quinquagesima Sunday in the 
New Lectionary ends with G.ix.19. It would 
have ended more properly with v.iy, because here 
ends the older passage which forms the main 
portion of the chapter. Throughout this section, G.ix.i-17, 
which relates what occurred immediately after the Flood, we 
find precisely the same style and phraseology as marks the 
first account of the Creation. Thus we read in v.i, *And 
Elohim blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, 
Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth ' ; and so we 
find in G.i.28, * And Elohim blessed them and Elohim 
said. Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth and 
subdue it ' : in the one case there follows, * and the fear of you 
and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, 
and upon every fowl of the air, and upon all that moveth upon 
the ground, and upon the fish of the sea — into your hand 
they are delivered ' ; and so we read in the other passage, 
'and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl 
of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the 
earth.' We have evidently the same writer in both passages ; 
and it is that older writer of the age of Samuel — very possibly 
Samuel himself — who uses everywhere the word Elohim, 
' God,' in speaking of the Divine Being, and abstains from 


using the name JEHOVAH. He tells us here how after the 
Flood Elohim gave to man every living thing for food, as 
well as the green herb which alone had been hitherto allowed,* 
but strenuously forbad both the shedding of human blood and 
the eating of blood ; and so in the age of Samuel we find 
recorded a remarkable instance — indeed the only one men- 
tioned in the whole history — of the people eating with blood. 
'And they smote the Philistines that day, and the people were 
very faint ; and the people flew upon the spoil, and took sheep 
and oxen and calves and slew them on the ground, and the 
people did eat them with the blood. And they told Saul 
saying, ' Behold ! the people sin against Jehovah in that they 
eat with the blood.' ^ He then tells us how Elohim * estab- 
lished a covenant' with Noah that there 'should be no more 
a flood to destroy the earth,' and makes the rainbow appear 
for the first time as the sign of that covenant, being ignorant, 
of course, of the physical fact that, whenever the sunshine 
fell upon the shower before the Flood, the rainbow must have 
appeared in the sky. 

To this same Elohistic writer belongs also the notice in 
G.ix.28,29, about Noah living 350 years after the Flood, 
and 950 years altogether. It is true, the name of the Deity 
does not occur here at all. But the style of these verses 
corresponds exactly with that of G.v, with its list of patriarchs 
before the Flood from Adam to Noah, living most of them 
more than 900 years ; and in this we find repeatedly the name 
'Elohim' used — * In the day that Elohim created man, in 
the likeness of ELOHIM made He him.' ' And Enoch walked 
with Elohim three hundred years and begat sons and 
daughters.* ' And Enoch walked with Elohim and he was 
not, for Elohim took him.'^ 

And this leads me to make a remark, the neglect of which 

« G.i.29,30. = iS.xiv,32,33, * G.v. 1,22,24. 


has led many persons, only imperfectly informed upon this 
subject/ into great mistakes and a total misapprehension of 
the method of Modern Biblical Criticism. What I mean is 
this, that the Elohistic matter in Genesis is not distinguished 
from the rest by critics merely by noting the use of the 
Divine Name ; for here we find two verses, which are clearly 
seen, from a comparison with G.v, to belong to the Elohist, 
but which do not contain * Elohim ' at all. On the other 
hand, there are passages in which Elohim frequently occurs, 
sometimes even exclusively, without any mention of the name 
Jehovah, but which are as clearly seen not to belong to the 
older writer, because their style and phraseology differ entirely 
from his.^ It is the combination of tzvo things — the constant 
use of Elohim, or the deliberate suppression of Jehovah,^ 
and the agreement in thought and expression with that of 
the older writer — which alone can determine whether any par- 
ticular passage belongs to the Elohist or not. But, by carefully 
attending to this principle, and closely examining every line, 
nay, every word of the Book of Genesis, the Elohistic matter 
has been separated from the rest ; and these passages, as I 
have said, when thus extracted, are found to compose a 
complete, consistent narrative, with scarcely a break or inter- 
ruption from beginning to end. As one has written — * What- 
ever may be the truth concerning the origin of the different 
narratives constituting the present Book of Genesis, two facts 

* e.g., Bp. Browne {B.C., p. 133, 135,137, 159), see my Commmtayy on 
B.C. {Genesis, 115,119,120,133). 

' e.g., G.xx. 1-17, xxi.8-34, xxii. I-13, xl-xlviii. 

^ The sole exception to this is in G.xvii. i, where Jehovah occurs in an Elo- 
histic passage. But the exception in this case proves the rule. If the Elohist 
has used everywhere else invariably Elohim in his narrative (87 times), and 
never Jehovah, it is plain that its occurrence in this single instance must be 
ascribed either to the slip of a copyist or else to the fact of the writer himself 
having inadvertently broken his rule, and used Jehovah, a name with which he was 
himself familiar. In the rest of the chapter he employs only Elohim for the 
personal name of the Deity, 27.1,3,9,15,18,22,23. 


are certain — (i) That it contains but one set of passages y in 
which anything like a continuous story of the antediluvian 
and patriarchal ages can be traced ; (ii) That it does contain 
siLch a set of passages, distinguished by marked peculiarities 
of language, which, when all the other passages (where these 
peculiarities do not occur) are struck out, may be read con- 
tinuously without the addition or omission of a single word, 
except in two or three cases, where very large additions to 
the original story appear to have been made, and some por- 
tions of it to have been struck out. All the other parts of 
Genesis, though often forming continuous narratives of con- 
siderable length, require this original story as the thread to 
hold them together, and cannot be combined into an in- 
dependent history complete in itself without arbitrary additions 
or transpositions.' ^ 

This ancient Elohistic Narrative, then, the Jehovist had 
before him ; and he enlarged and enlivened it by introducing 
a number of passages recording additional incidents in the 
lives of the patriarchs before and after the Flood, and especially 
by inserting the second account of the Creation ii.4a-25,^ with 
its description of the planting of the garden of Eden and 
of the four mighty rivers which watered it. One of these 
rivers is named as the Euphrates, and the others are identified 
by scholars with the Indus, the Nile, and the Tigris, which 
are here supposed to be derived from one common source, 
and to flow thence in different directions, the Indus to the 
East, the Nile to the South, the Tigris to the North, the 
Euphrates to the West, according to the vague geographical 
notions of those times. So even, a thousand years later, 
Josephus in his explanation of this passage regards the 

' E. V. Neale {Genesis Criiically Examined, 

*• z/.4a belongs to the Elohist, and was probably removed from its original 
position at the beginning of G. i, {comp. the similar expressions at the heginni7tg 
of histories, v.i, vi.9, xi. 10,27, xxv.12,19, xxxvi.1,9, xxxvii.2a), in order to form 
the commencement of the Jehovistic account of the Creation. 


Euphrates, Tigris, and Nile, as branches of the same river ; 
but, instead of the Indus, he reckons the Ganges.^ Then 
the Jehovist goes on to tell us how the man, whom Jehovah 
had formed, was placed in the garden and charged not to eat 
of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and how the animals 
of all kinds were brought to him from all parts of the earth, 
from all extremes of climate, the White Bear of the Frozen 
North and the Humming-bird of the Tropics, the beasts and 
birds of prey and their ordinary victims, and he gave names 
to them all. Finally he informs us that, while all the other 
creatures had mates, the LORD GoD (Jehovah Elohim) saw 
that the man had none ; ' and the LORD GOD caused a deep 
sleep to fall upon the man and he slept ; and the rib, which 
the Lord God had taken from the man, made He a woman 
and brought her unto the man.' Thus in this second account 
of the Creation the man is apparently created the first, and 
the woman is certamly created the last, of all living creatures ; 
whereas in the older story the man and woman are created 
last of all, as the crowning work of Elohim, and are created 
together — 'And ELOHIM created man in His own image, in 
the image of Elohim created He him ; male and female 
created He them.' ^^ 

Next he describes the Temptation and the Fall,^^ the sin 
and punishment of Cain,'^ and the progress of the arts of 
cattle-keeping, music, and smithery among his descendants ; ^^ 
and he tells us how the ' sons of God ' took wives of the 
beautiful * daughters of men,' and from them sprung a race 
of mighty heroes, ' which were of old, men of renown.' '* 
* There were giants too in the earth in those days ' ^^ — a tra- 
dition which is found to exist among most nations, and has 
probably arisen from the discoveries of huge bones which have 
been ignorantly supposed to be human. Perhaps this tradition 

9 Anf. I.i.3. '0 G.i.27. " G.iii. 12 G.iv.l-l6. 

'2 G.iv.17-22. *^ 1--4. '5 



derived some support among the ancients from the gigantic 
statues and vast architectural structures of Egypt, Assyria, 
and Greece, and especially among the Hebrews from the 
massive ruins in the trans-Jordanic lands, where sarcophagi 
of huge size, made of the black basalt of the country, are now 
used as water-troughs, one of which is spoken of in D.iii. 1 1 
as the * iron bedstead ' of Og the king of Bashan ; ' nine cubits 
was the length thereof and four cubits the breadth of it' 
— that is, it was i6 feet long and 7 feet broad. Even now, 
as travellers tell us, many of these stone coffins exist in this 
region, of vast dimensions.^^ But no human remains of such 
gigantic size have as yet been discovered. Josephus indeed 
says, speaking of the time of the Judges, * At this time also 
remained some of the race of giants, who for bigness of body 
and terrible aspect were very unlike other men ; the sight of 
them was astonishing, being a thing fearful to be told ; their 
bones are yet to be seen, but so large as to exceed all belief ^^ 
But these bones,^^ no doubt, belonged to huge extinct animals, 
which were mistaken by the ancients for human remains ; as 
St. Augustine tells us of a tooth which he saw, a hundred times 
larger than ordinary teeth,^^ and which in all probability 
once belonged to an elephant. So Virgil supposed that there 
was not only a diminution in size of the human race from 
primeval times, but that this diminution would continue in 
the ages to come ; and, speaking of the slaughter on one of 
the great battle-fields of his own time, he pictures the pigmy 
ploughman of later days going over the ground centuries 
afterwards, and marvelling at the huge bones turned out from 
the dug-up graves.^° But in truth there is no sign of any 

" BURCKHARDT, pp. 220,246, ROBINSON, III.p.658, SeETZEN, I.pp-355,36o, 

quoted by Keil, II.p.409. 1^ Ant. V.ii.3. 

'« That IS, if any such bones were really to be seen in Palestine in the time 
of Josephus, who is not a very trustworthy authority on such points. 

19 Be Civ. Dei, xv.9. 20 Georg., 1. 497. 


such change having taken place in the stature of the human 
race from the earHest times of which we have any knowledge 
till now. The remains found in ancient tombs and pyramids 
are enough to show this, since they correspond generally in 
stature and size to the men of our own times. As one has 
said — ' Looking upward from the base of the Great Pyramid, 
we might suppose it the work of giants ; but it is entered by 
passages admitting with difficulty a man of the present size, 
and we find in the centre a sarcophagus about six feet long.' ^^ 
The story in Genesis now passes on to the account of the 
Flood, which was sent, says the Elohist, because ' the earth 
was corrupt before Elohim and the earth was filled with 
violence ' ; ^2 which statement the Jehovist expands and em- 
phasizes in his own peculiar style as follows : * And Elohim 
saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and 
that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only 
evil continually. And it repented Jehovah that He had 
made man on the earth, and Jehovah said, I will destroy man 
whom I have created from the face of the ground, both man 
and beast and creeping thing and fowl of the heaven : for it 
repenteth Me that I have made them.' ^^ Thus this later 
writer has not only inserted whole stories of his own, but he 
has retouched the more ancient narrative, where it seemed to 
want point and force, or to need some additional feature. 
He has done this already in G.v, in the list of the antediluvian 
patriarchs, which belongs undoubtedly to the older writer, and 
must have originally contained an account of the birth of Noah, 
exactly similar in form to those of the seven preceding 
patriarchs ; that is to say, the Elohist must have written, as 
in all the other instances, 'And Lamech lived 182 years and 
begat Noah.' But the Jehovist has retouched the passage 
and it now stands thus — 'And Lamech lived 182 years and 

2' Ken RICK, Pnificvv. Hist. p. 74. ^" 23 

D 2 


begat a son, and he called his name Noah, saying, This same 
shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, 
because of the ground which JEHOVAH hath cursed ' ^^ — where 
we have not only the name ' JEHOVAH,' but a distinct reference 
to the curse pronounced upon the ground after the Fall and 
the work and toil imposed on Adam — ' Cursed is the ground 
for thy sake ; in sorrow — that is, in toilsome labour — shalt 
thou eat of it all the days of thy life ' ^^ — all which belongs 
to the same hand. 

Accordingly, the Jehovist does not give us a second account 
of the Flood, as he has done of the Creation ; he merely 
retouches the older story, and sometimes not very felicitously. 
The Elohist, for instance, makes Elohim command Noah to 
bring ' of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort, into 
the Ark, male and female.' ^^ The Jehovist makes Jehovah say 
unto Noah, ' Of every clean beast thou shalt take into the Ark 
by sevens, the male and the female, and of the beasts that are 
not clean by tivo, the male and the female, of fowls also of the 
heaven by sevens, the male and the female ' ; ^^ and the reason 
for his doing this is plain, because he wishes to introduce a 
sacrifice of thanksgiving after the Flood, and he needs these 
seven pairs of clean beasts and birds that Noah ' may build an 
altar unto Jehovah, and take of every clean beast and every 
clean fowl, and offer burnt-offerings on the altar ' ; whereupon, 
he says, 'JEHOVAH smelled a sweet savour, and JEHOVAH said 
in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for 
man's sake.' ^^ Again, in the midst of the older account 
of Noah and the other human and brute creatures coming out 
of the Ark, the Jehovist has inserted this clause, ' and Noah 
removed the covering of the Ark and looked, and lo ! the face 
of the ground was dry ;' and this took place on * the first day 
of the first month.' ^9 But Noah and the rest came out of the 

2' Gv.28,29. 2* G.iii 17-19. 2",20, comp. vii.8,9,15, 16, 

2* G.viii. 20-22. 2^ G.viii. 13. 


Ark on ' the twenty-seventh day of the second month ' ^^ — from 
which it follows that, in consequence of this injudicious insertion, 
the Ark remains uncovered for nearly two months, the ground 
being dry, and yet none of the birds or insects flew away ! 

I have said that the Elohistic Narrative was probably 
written in the age of Samuel, and have given some reasons 
which lead to that conclusion,^! and I will now add another. 
To this writer belongs G.xxxvi, which is for the most part 
a mere dry catalogue of names of the sons or descendants 
of Esau or Edom — in other words, a list of the principal 
Edomite tribes as they existed in the writer's time. To the 
eye of most readers this catalogue will have but an uninviting, 
dreary aspect, just as a list of Scottish clans and their remote 
ancestors would not be very attractive to an ordinaiy English 
student of history. But what if we found in such an ancient 
Scottish register a passage like this — ' And these are the 
kings that reigned in Scotland, before there reigned any king 
over the people of England ' } Should we not at once infer 
that, at the time when such words were written, England 
had already been ruled by a king, though possibly only by 
one.? And so, when w^e read in G.xxxvi. 31, * These are the 
kings that reigned in the land of Edom, before the reigning 
of a king over the children of Israel,' we conclude that this 
passage could not have been written before the age of Saul, 
the first king of Israel, or, in other words, before the age of 
Samuel. But may it not have been written in a still later age } 
Let us look more closely at this list of Edomite kings. They 
are eight in number, and in each instance the king's death and 
the name of his successor are mentioned in precisely the 
same form — e.g., ' and Bela died, and Jobab, son of Zerah of 
Bozrah, reigned in his stead ' ^"^ — except in the case of the 
last king, Hadar or Hadad. The death of Hadad is not 

"« G.viii.14, &c. ^' p. 1 5-1 7 »2 G.xxxvi. 33. 


mentioned : we read only, ' And Baal-hanan, son of Achbor, 
died, and Hadad reigned in his stead, and the name of his city 
was Pau, and his wife's name was Mehetabel, daughter of 
Hatred, daughter of Mezahab.' ^^ The writer evidently knew 
a great deal more about this king Hadad than about any of 
the others, since he mentions not only his city and the name 
of his wife, but the names also of her mother and grandfather. 
Now, since he does not mention his death or name his successor, 
as in all the other instances, it is plain that Hadad was still 
living when this passage was written. Therefore, since all 
these reigned before there was a king in Israel, it follows 
that Hadad must have reigned in Edom before Saul's time ; 
again, as he was not dead at the time when this passage was 
written, he must have been reigning also after Saul became 
king over Israel ; so that this list must have been composed 
in the age — and therefore, very probably, by the hand — 
of Samuel. 

But, if the Elohist lived in Samuel's time, when did the 
later writer, the Jehovist, live } We have seen that G.ix.i-17 
and also ^'.28,29 belong to the Elohist. But between these 
two passages the Jehovist has inserted a section, which betrays 
unmistakably his style, not only by the use of the name 
Jehovah, ' Blessed be Jehovah, the Elohim of Shem !', but 
by the phraseology throughout, as may be seen in critical 
works.^^ It is obvious that the main object aimed at in this 
passage is to throw contempt and reproach upon Canaan. He 
is not descended from Shem, as the Hebrews were, but he is 
a son of Ham, and a heavy curse is laid upon his head 
by his grandfather Noah — * Cursed be Canaan ! a servant of 
servants shall he be unto his brethren. Blessed be Jehovah, 
the Elohim of Shem ! and Canaan shall be his servant. 
Elohim shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents 

=^3 G.xxxvi.39. 34 p^fii^ V. A;iL^7,^S. 


of Shem, and Canaan shall be his servant.' ^^ Why all this 
stress laid upon Canaan becoming a servant — that is, a slave 
to Shem and Japheth — 'a servant of servants unto his brethren* 
— a slave of slaves ? We know how modern slave-holders have 
wrested this curse into a reason for reducing all black races 
— supposed to be the children of Ham — into slavery, forgetting 
the fact that the curse is not pronounced upon the sons of 
Ham generally, but solely upon the Canaanites. 

Manifestly the passage before us seeks to find a justification 
for the manner in which the Canaanites were subdued and 
subjected by the Israelites in Solomon's time. The history 
of Samuel, Saul, and David, exhibits no evidence whatever 
of such complete prostration of the Canaanite tribes under 
the feet of their Israelitish masters. On the contrary, it is 
noted that in Samuel's time 'there was peace between Israel 
andthe^M^r^V^i-';^^ while in the earher part of David's reign 
the Jebiisites possessed the stronghold of Zion and for a while 
defied him.^^ It is not till Solomon's time that we read— 
'AH the people that were left of the Amorites, Hittites, 
Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites' — in one word, all the people 
that were left of the Canaanites — ' who were not of the children 
of Israel, their children that were left after them in the land, 
whom the children of Israel also were not able to exterminate, 
upon these did Solomon levy a tribute of bond-service unto 
this day.' 38 Yes ! let Solomon make bondslaves of the sons 
of Canaan ; for did not Noah say of old, ' Cursed be Canaan ! 
a slave of slaves shall he be to his brethren ' } 

Thus the passage way probably written, perhaps by one 
of Samuel's pupils, such as Nathan the prophet, in the early, 
part of Solomon's reign, or even somewhat earlier, in the latter 
part of David's reign, when the idea of exacting this bond- 
service from the Canaanf.tes may have been already entertained. 

" G.;x.25,27. 3" 1S.vii.14. 

" 2S.V.6-8. " lK.ix.20,2I. 


How different from the tone of this passage — how far more 
grand, having the character of a true inspiration — was the 
thought of the Elohist, who has just before made the rainbow 
the sign of God's everlasting covenant of grace to man ! We 
may fall back with a sure quiet trust on the firm ground of 
this unanswerable argument, that He who has made not only 
the rainbow, but other things around us so beautiful, and has 
given us eyes to see and hearts to appreciate the wisdom and 
goodness of His works, has surely kind and gracious thoughts 
towards us. He would not mock a world lying under a curse 
— a * slave of slaves ' to the spirit of evil — a race of whom (as 
some suppose) the vast majority are doomed to everlasting 
woe — with these bright exhibitions of His Fatherly Love. 
Whether Adam fell in Paradise or not, whether Noah was 
saved in the Ark or not, whether the cities of the plain were 
destroyed for their v/ickedness or not, yet in the minds of 
those who wrote those stories of old there was a deep and true 
conviction of the evil nature of sin and its terrible consequences. 
But so, too, to the minds of pious men of old it was revealed 
that the heaven and the earth are the work of the Great Creator, 
that the blessed light came forth at the word of God, and 
that man himself is made in his Maker's image. We feel 
the bonds of our common humanity drawn yet more closely 
around us when we see that in those days, as now, the Presence 
of a Heavenly Friend was realised as ever near to each faithful 
soul, ready to comfort, strengthen, bless, or, if need be, to 
correct and chasten — nay, that to their eyes, as to ours, the 
gracious signs of nature were witnessing of an eternal bond 
between the Father of spirits and His children, and the bright 
beauty of the rainbow after the storm — the simple fact that, 
notwithstanding all our provocations, God still gives us power 
to see and to enjoy His Goodness — was regarded as a token 
of the continuance of His loving care for us; an assurance and 
pledge of forgiveness, restoration, and peace. 



The New Lesson for the First Sunday in Lent, G.xix. 12-29, ^ Jehovistic 
passage, except v.2g ; this and other short fragments of the older story 
preserved with scrupulous care, which shows the respect paid to it, probably 
by Samuel's disciples after his death, and enables us to reconstruct it almost 
in its original form ; the Jehovistic passages in Genesis may have been all 
written by one hand ; G.xiv.xv., not included in these ; the name 'Jehovah' 
used more freely in some of them than in others ; all indications of time 
place the Jehovist in the age of David and Solomon, e.g. extended geo- 
graphical knowledge, signs of progress in the arts and familiarity with the 
customs of courts, and especially the prophecy of Edom's throwing off the 
yoke of Israel ; the composite character of Genesis gives a confused view 
of the patriarchs, especially of Abraham ; the primary Elohistic account 
of Abraham ; the patriarch's hope at Sarah's grave compared with that of the 


N my previous Lectures I have set before you the 
main distinctions between the ancient Elohistic 
Narrative and the later insertions in the Book of 
Genesis. Especially I have mentioned that the 
older writer is distinguished everywhere, not merely by his 
using constantly the name * Elohim ' to the exclusion of 
* Jehovah,' but by a characteristic phraseology. 

Let us take, for instance, the section G.xix. 12-29, ap- 
pointed in the New Lectionary as the First Lesson for the 
First Sunday in Lent. In this whole section, except in ^.29, 
the name of Jehovah is continually employed — ' the cry of 
them is waxen great before Jehovah, and Jehovah hath 
sent us to destroy it' — 'up, get you out of this place, for 
Jehovah will destroy this city ' — ' Jehovah being merciful 
unto him' — 'then Jehovah rained upon Sodom and upon 
Gomorrah brimstone and fire from JEHOVAH out of heaven' 
— * and Abraham gat up early in the morning to the place 
where he stood before JEHOVAH.'^ In all these places the 
English Bible has ' the LORD,' printed in capital letters, by 
which our older translators, in imitation of the Septuagint 
and Vulgate, have represented everywhere the name'jEHOVAH', 
» "^.13,14,16,24,27. 


obscuring frequently the sense by so doing — a defect which 
will doubtless be amended in the New Translation. But in 
^.i8, 'And Lot said unto them, Oh, not so, my Lord,' the 
word ' Lord ' is printed in ordinary type ; and here it means no 
more than it would in common English, viz., 'Master' or 'Sir,' 
as an expression of respect. The Lesson in this case, however, 
begins most abruptly, ' And the men said unto Lot, Hast thou 
here any besides } ' ; and the reason of this is, that the New 
Lectionary omits the offensive passage with which the chapter 
begins and which used to be read among the Sunday Lessons,^ 
as even the former Lectionary omitted that with which it 
ends ^ — both of which, though they do not either of them con- 
tain the name of the Deity, belong undoubtedly to the Jehovist, 
since they resemble closely the other passages due to this 
writer, not only in expression and style, but in subject- 
matter, all the stories in Genesis of a similar character having 
come from his hand. 

But in the midst of this Jehovistic matter, at the end of 
the account of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, 
occur the words of v.2% ' And it came to pass, when Elohim 
destroyed the cities of the plain, that Elohim remembered 
Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, 
when He overthrew the cities in which Lot dwelt.' Hitherto 
in this story, in this and the preceding chapter, only 
Jehovah has been used, altogether seventeen times, and 
never once Elohim. How can it be supposed that the same 
writer would suddenly change his style and use only Elohim 
in one single verse as here } And how strange it would 
be if, after giving a long detailed account of these occur- 
rences, of the visit of Jehovah to Abraham, the destruction 
of the cities, and the deliverance of Lot, he had added this 
notice at the end, just as if none of these things had been 

' v.i-ii. ' 5^.30-38. 


before related at all ! This verse, in short, is part of the 
Elohistic Narrative, and contains all that the Elohist said 
upon the subject ; and in that Narrative, when extracted 
and read by itself, it will be found to take its place very 
properly, though in its present position it forms but a tame 
and spiritless conclusion after the long and striking cir- 
cumstantial story of the Jehovist. And we find here 
repeated the phraseology of the older writer. As before 
he had mentioned that 'Lot dwelt in the cities of the plain,'* 
so here he speaks of * Elohim destroying the cities of the 
plain,' and * overthrowing the cities in which Lot dwelt.' 
As before he said that * Elohim remembered Noah,' ^ so here 
he says that ' Elohim remembered Abraham.' Beyond all 
doubt, therefore, it belongs to the Elohist ; and, as it lay 
before the later writer in the older story, it formed the 
text — the tJicma, as it were — upon which the latter has 
composed his own vivacious narrative in these two chap- 
ters, with which he has supplemented the very brief Elohistic 

I have also given reasons for supposing that the Elohistic 
Narrative was composed in the age, and therefore probably 
by the hand, of the great Reformer Samuel, for the use of 
the students in the schools which he established, and over 
which indeed towards the close of his life we find him 
apparently presiding.^ It is very natural that after his 
death it should have been retouched, embellished, and 
enlarged, by some one or more of his favourite disciples, 
in the next age, the age of David and Solomon. It would 
seem almost certain that this would happen. Their Mas- 
ter's work may have been left by his death in his pupils* 
hands unfinished ; they may have been advised by him or 
charged to complete it, or their own feelings may have 

^ G.xiii.i2a. ^ G.viii.i. " iS.xix.20. 


prompted them to do so. Even during his Hfetimc, and 
under his eye and direction, they may have been practised 
already in such labours ; and we read, in fact, of the ' Book 
of Jashar'7 and the 'Book of the Wars of JEIIOVAH,'^ which 
liave altogether disappeared, but were probably composed 
in these schools. It is easy to believe that the reverence 
paid to the Master in such a case would protect as far as 
possible the identical words which he had written, so that 
the first account of the Creation was retained, with all its 
supposed defects, when the second was inserted ; whereas, 
instead of the older story of the Flood being cancelled 
and another substituted in its place, almost every line and 
letter of the more ancient story has been preserved, the 
later writer having contented himself with merely inter- 
lining, as it were, his own additional insertions ; and so, 
too, the short Elohistic notice has been left about the over- 
throw of the cities of the plain, though rendered quite 
unnecessary and superfluous by the long Jehovistic story 
which precedes it. It is this scrupulous care to preserve 
every word of the more ancient Narrative, which enables 
us to extract that Narrative from the whole Book ol 
Genesis almost in its complete form as an unbroken history ; 
and such scrupulosity, as I have said, would be only natural 
in a writer who undertook to carry on and supplement his 
great Master's work when he was gone. 

Accordingly in my last Lecture I showed that some 
portion of the Jehovistic matter in Genesis was most 
probably composed either in the first years of Solomon's 
reign or the last of David's. According to the usual 
chronology Samuel died about four years before the death 
of Saul, and then David reigned for 40J years.^ Thus 
about 45 years elapsed between Samuel's death and Solomon's 

' J.X.13, 2S.i.i8. 8 N.xxi.14. « 2S.V.5. 


accession ; so that one and the same disciple of Samuel — 
such as Nathan — might have made additions to the older 
story at different times, and, if 20 years old at his Master's 
decease, would be not older than 70, if writing in the fifth 
year of Solomon. It seems possible that this is really the 
case, viz.y that the Jehovistic parts of Genesis were almost 
all written by the same hand, as they exhibit everywhere the 
same peculiar phrases and modes of thought and feeling. 
G.xiv, however, is marked by a distinct phraseology of its 
own, and, though belonging to the same age, was no doubt 
contributed by another writer. G.xv also shows signs of 
a viiich later age, and with some few other small insertions 
in Genesis ^° belongs to a writer of whom I shall speak more 
at length hereafter, who lived four centuries afterwards, 
and who seems to have edited the story, as it had come 
into his hands, with amplifications of his own. But 
otherwise the supplementary portions of Genesis all betray 
the same peculiarities of style, and may all perhaps be due 
to one and the same hand, though written, it may be, at 
different intervals in the space of half a century, during 
the latter years of Saul, the whole reign of David, and the 
first years of Solomon. In some of these Elohim is used 
exclusively,^^ and not Jehovah at all ; in others Jehovah 
is used, but sparingly ; ^^ in others JEHOVAH is used 
very freely ; ^^ but in all the same phraseology occurs en- 
tirely distinct from that of the Elohist. It would seem 
as if the writer began by following the example of his 
predecessor, using only Elohim, but in the later portions of 
his work, for some reason or other, employed more familiarly 
the name Jehovah. Perhaps we may see hereafter more 

'", X.8-12, XV. 1-21, xviii.18, 19, xxii. 14-18, xxiv. 59,60, xxvi.4,5, 
xxviii, 15,20-22, xxxi. 13, xxxv. 2-4, as shown in /tv;/. (V.66,VI.482.) 
•' e.g. G.xx.i-17, xxi.S 20. " e.g. G.xxi. 33,34, xxii.i-13. 

" ^'.^.G.xviiijxix. 


clearly the reason of this. Meanwhile it is possible, of course, 
as some eminent critics maintain, that other writers, even of 
different ages, may have contributed parts of the Jehovistic 
matter, employing a somewhat similar phraseology, especially 
when we remember that an oriental tongue, as, for instance, 
the Arabic, ^^ may remain unchanged for centuries. But there 
is no necessity as yet for supposing this in the present instance, 
since every sign of time, which has hitherto been detected in 
these passages, seems to point to the age of David and 
Solomon, and therefore very possibly to one and the same 

Look, for instance, at the extended geographical know- 
ledge displayed in these passages — the four great rivers in 
G.ii. 10-14, the seventy nations in G.x — a sign of that more 
intimate acquaintance with Phoenician commerce, which 
existed in the latter years of David and the first of Solomon, 
when * Hiram, king of Tyre, sent his servant unto Solomon, 
for he had heard that they had anointed him king in the 
room of his father, for Hiram was ever a lover of David.'^^ 
It is here also that we read of Abraham being rich not 
only in flocks and herds, camels and he-asses,^^ but in 
silver and gold,^^ and of his producing out of his treasures 
for Rebekah, his son's bride-elect, * a golden nose-ring and 
bracelets,' 'jewels of silver and jewels of gold.' ^^ It is 
here we find mention made of ' instruments of music ' and 
* working in brass and iron ' ^^ — of the ' servants of Pharaoh,' 20 
the ' servants of Abimelech,' ^i and of the large household of 
'menservants and maidservants' belonging to Abraham, 
Isaac, and Jacob^^ — all signs of a great advance in civilization 
from the days of Samuel and Saul, when at one time ' there 

'« Palgrave (^ra<5/fl;,I.p.3ii.) 'SiK.v.i. " G.xxiv.35. 

" G.xiii.2, xxiv.35. ^^ G.xxiv.22,53. '« G.iv.2i,22. 

20 G.xl.20, xli. 10,37,38, &c. 2. G.xx.8,xxi.25, &c. 

^ G.xxiv.35, xxvi, 14, XXX.43. 


was no smith found throughout all the land of Israel,' ^^ and 
giving evidence of some familiarity with the customs of 
royalty, as in an age when the arts had made considerable 
progress, such as that in which first the Tabernacle of David 
and then the palaces and Temple of Solomon were built in 
Jerusalem, the last with the aid of Phoenician workmen. 

It is the Jehovist again who predicts that Esau or Edom 
shall be subject to his younger brother Jacob or Israel in 
the following words addressed to their mother Rcbckah : — 

' Two nations arc in thy womb, 
And two folks shall be separated from thy bowels ; 
And folk shall be stronger than folk, 
And the elder shall serve the younger. ' ''■^ 

This passage, if we regard it as merely reflecting contem- 
porary history, refers plainly to the subjection of the 
Edomites to Israel in David's days, when ' David put 
garrisons in Edom, throughout all Edom put he garrisons ; 
and all they of Edom became David's servants.' ^^ And 
the bitter enmity between Edom and Israel which resulted 
from this assumption of sovereignty, the younger brother 
taking the righi of pre-eminence, which belonged by the 
order of birth to the older people, and claiming to lord it 
over the neighbouring tribes — an enmity which was deepened 
into a deadly and inveterate hatred, by the defeat of David's 
forces on one occasion, and the cruel revenge which Joab 
took in consequence, when he * went up to bury the slain ' of 
IsraeP^ — is strikingly shadowed forth in another Jehovistic 
passage, ' And Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing 
wherewith his father had blessed him ; and Esau said in his 
heart, The days of mourning for my father are at hand ; then 
will I slay my brother Jacob.' ^^ 

This prediction, therefore, of Israel's supremacy over Edom 

23 iS.xiii.i9. 2^ G.XXV.23. " 2.S.viii. 14. 

26 iK.xi.i6. " G.xxvii.41. 


was veiy probably written in David's time. But we find 
afterwards another prediction put into the mouth of Isaac and 
addressed to Esau himself, as follows : — 

' By thy sword shall thou live, 
And thou shalt serve thy brother ; 
And it shall come to pass, -when thou shalt have rule. 
That thou shalt break his yoke from off thy neck. ' -^ 

It is certain that Edom did remain a ' servant ' to his ' younger 
brother ' Israel during the latter part of David's reign, having 
been thoroughly crushed by Joab's massacre, and held in 
awe by David's garrisons. But the very fact that David was 
obliged to place * garrisons ' in the country, in order to 
maintain his authority in it — a fact which is repeated with 
special emphasis, 'throughout all Edom put he garrisons' — 
implies that he was not perfectly secure of his position — that 
there was a certain stubborn unwillingness on the part of the 
Edomite people to submit to his yoke. And accordingly we 
find that in the very beginning of Solomon's reign, as soon as 
ever the triumphant conqueror David and David's great 
captain Joab were dead, Hadad the Edomite, a fugitive 
prince, who had escaped when quite young from Joab's 
massacre,^^ — very possibly the son or grandson of that same 
Hadad whom the Elohist mentions last in the list of Edomite 
kings before there was any king in Israel,^° and who was 
reigning, as we saw, in Samuel's time,^^ — raised the standard 
of revolt against the rule of Solomon,^^ as Rezon also did in 
Syria ; ^^ and, no doubt, both succeeded in shaking off the 
yoke of Israel. With respect to Rezon, indeed, our English 
Bible tells us, * He was an adversary to Israel all the days of 
Solomon, together with the evil which Hadad did : and he 
abhorred Israel and reigned over Syria.' ^"* But the Greek 
translation omits all mention of Rezon and Syria, and says, 

"8 G.xxvii.40. . 29 iK^i j4_2o. ^o G.xxxvi.31-39. '' P-ST^SS. 

■2 iK.xi.2i,22. ^'^ iK.xi. 23,24. 34 1K.xi.25. 


' This is the mischief which Hadad did, and he vexed Israel 
and reigned in the land of Edom.' ^-^ Thus this second predic- 
tion which says of Edom, 'Thou shalt serve thy brother 
Israel, but, when thou shalt have rule, thou shalt break his 
yoke from off thy neck,' may have been written in the early 
days of Solomon. 

Such are some of the reasons which help us to fix the 
composition of the Jehovistic insertions in Genesis in the 
reign of David and the early part of Solomon's reign ; and 
these may suffice for the present. I will only now draw your 
attention to the fact that, in consequence of the composite 
character of the Book of Genesis, it must necessarily follow 
that we obtain but a broken and distorted view of the life 
and character of any one of the patriarchs, as meant to be 
exhibited by the original writer. This is a point of very 
great interest, and, of course it is altogether ignored by 
ordinary readers and expositors of the Bible. We often 
hear, for instance, the character of Abraham set forth as a 
model of excellence for the imitation of all ages. But wJiat 
Abraham } — which of the three or four Abrahams whose 
doings are mixed up in utter confusion by the different 
writers concerned in the composition of Genesis } How per- 
plexing it is to find, in the account of the * father of the 
faithful,' the record of conduct so mean and unworthy as that 
related of him in one place, where he prompts Sarah to say 
that she was his sister instead of his wife, and exposes her to 
injury in the Court of Pharaoh in order to screen himself 
from harm,^^ and then in another place to find him, at the 
end of twenty years, repeating the same base act in the Court 
of Abimelech,^^ when Sarah was already * old and well- 
stricken in years,' ^^ in fact ninety years old,^^ yet expected 
soon to be the mother of a firstborn son,'*° the child of 

8^ 1K.xi.22 (Vat. M.S.) =•« G.xii. 10-20. ^tQxx.i-iS. 

=*" G.xviii.ii. ^^ G.xvii. 17. •»<> G.xviii.14, xxi.2. 


promise, the centre of such great hopes, the reward of so 
many years of patient faith and expectation ! 

But nothing of all this appears in the original Elohistic 
Narrative, which in its grand simplicity represents each one 
of the patriarchs, as I have said, without any flaw in his 
character. In that Narrative Abraham migrates of his own 
accord, without having received any miraculous call, from 
Charran to Canaan,'*^ carrying out in so doing the purpose 
of his father. "^^ He dwells in the land of Canaan,"^^ and there 
Hagar bears him a son Ishmael, 'for Sarah had no children."''* 
But many years afterwards, in his old age, the Deity appears 
to him saying, ' I am (El Shaddai) God Almighty,' and 
covenants to give to him and to his seed after him the land 
of his sojournings,''^ commanding the rite of circumcision to 
be observed as the sign and seal of the covenant,''^ and 
promising a son to him by Sarah."*^ Abraham obeys the 
command,"*^ and receives the promised son, and circumcises 
him.'*^ His wife Sarah dies, and he buys from the sons of 
Heth the burying-place at Hebron, where he buries Sarah,"'^ 
and where he himself is buried by his two sons, Ishmael and 
Isaac, * in a ripe old age, an old man and full of years, and he 
was gathered unto his people.' ^^ 

And this is all the genuine original story of Abraham ! 
This is the real Abraham of the Bible, the Abraham of the 
Elohist. We have here no warlike sheikh, with his 318 
trained servants all born in his house, going to do battle 
with five confederate kings ^^ — no expulsion of Ishmael,^^ no 
purpose of sacrificing Isaac,^* no marrying another wife or 
wives and begetting six sons,^^ either during Sarah's life-time, 
when Abraham was above a hundred years old,^'' or after her 

^' G.xii.5. « G.xi.31. "3 G.xiii.i2a. "* G.xvi.1,3,15,16 

" G.xvii.i-8. <« G.xvii.9-14. 47 G.xvii. 15-22. "» G.xvii.23-27. 

*" G.xxi.2-5. so G.xxiii.i-20. 51 G.XXV.7-10. " G.xiv. 

" G.xxi.9-21. " G.xxii.i_i3. " G. XXV. 1-6. ^sG.xxi.q. 


death, when he was 137 years old," though it seemed to 
himself incredible that a son should be born to him even at 
pg58 — above all, no miserable subterfuge at the Court of 
Pharaoh,^^ or still more reprehensible repetition of the fault at 
the Court of Abimelech.^^ All these additions, which have 
been made by later writers, are mere refractions and distor- 
tions of the older story, and mar the simple dignity of the 
patriarch's character as there portrayed. 

Still the Elohist can touch our hearts as men when he places 
us beside that cave in the field of Machpelah, and describes 
for us the affecting scene, how 'Abraham came down to 
mourn for Sarah and to weep for her,' ^^ and * stood up from 
before his dead,' and pleaded with the sons of Heth, saying, 

* I am a stranger and a sojourner with you : give me a 
possession of a burying place with you that I may bury my 
dead out of my sight.' ^^ And yet we must not carry to that 
scene our own emotions, our own hopes, our own faith, as 
Christians — for whom the great Apostle of the Gentiles has 
made the patriarch's faith a very watchword, * Abraham 
believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteous- 
ness.' ^^ In the days of Abraham, or rather in the far later 
days of him who writes here the story of Abraham, the 
strongest faith was hardly able to reach out the hand and 
lay hold of a hope beyond the grave ; the dead were buried, 
like Sarah in this Narrative, ' out of sight ' ^^ for ever and ever ; 
and even long afterwards the good Hezekiah could say, * The 
grave cannot praise Thee ; death cannot celebrate Thee ; 
they that go down into the pit cannot hope for Thy Truth.'^^ 

We Christians, however, taught by the lips of Him who 

* has brought life and immortality to light by the Gospel,' ^^ 
believe that the same ' Faithful Creator/ ^^ who ' is loving 

" G.xxiii. I, comp. xvii.17. "* G.xvii.1,17. ^^ G.xii. I0-20. 

«« G.xx. 1-18. «' G.xxiii. I. " z/.3-i6. "^ Rom.iv.3. 

** G.xxiii. 4,8. "* Is.xxxviii. 18 '•* 2'rim.i. 10. •*' iPet.iv. 19. 


unto every man,' whose 'tender mercies are over all His 
works,' ^^ is the Lord of both worlds, that the same Fatherly 
and Motherly Care and Wisdom and Might will order for us 
there as here. We know that the dear Son of God and all 
the best and noblest of our race, who have followed in his 
train in different paths of duty, have passed the mysterious 
barrier, the gate which leads out of Time into Eternity ; and 
we feel and arc sure that all these are safe under the Shadow 
of the Mighty Hand. But the same Love broods over all, 
and we can leave our dear ones, and leave ourselves, in the 
merciful care, to the wise disposal of Him who watches day 
and night, guiding the ages as they go, ordering the move- 
ments of this Mighty Universe, yet listening to the humblest 
prayer of the poor penitent. In our hours of saddest bereave- 
ment we may learn to bow to the will of Him who is the 
Lord of death as well as life, * JEHOVAH,' the Living God, the 
Life-giver, ' the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever.' ^^ 
But, while we live, our song shall be — like that which the 
Jewish king poured forth from his overflowing heart when 
raised from sickness nigh unto death — ' The living, the living, 
he shall praise Thee, as I do this day ; the father to the 
children shall make known Thy Truth.' "^ 

®^ Ps.cxlv.9. ^* Heb.xiii.8. '" Is.xxxviii. 19. 



The Jehovist assigned by some to a later age than Solomon's, because of the 
revolt of Edom in Joram's time ; this conclusion unnecessary, since the 
Moabite Stone implies the revolt of Moab in Solomon's time ; despotic acts of 
Solomon on his accession ; revolts of subject provinces after the death of David 
and Joab ; the statements of the vast extent and peaceful condition of Solo • 
mon's empire at variance with other Scripture statements, and written during 
the Captivity ; signs of internal disorder in Solomon's reign, as well as of 
external troubles, which explain the prediction of Edom's revolt ; Jacob's 
Blessing, Jehovistic ; that on Judah points to the time of David's glory, 
before his great sin ; that on Joseph points to the same happy time, when the 
Ten Tribes had acknowledged David as king ; that on Levi points to the 
depressed condition of the priestly tribe in the same age, the golden period 
of David's life, about the twelfth year of his reign ; the Rev. James Mar- 
TINEAU on Bible-reading in Sunday Schools. 


' And by thy sword shalt thou live, 
And thou shalt serve thy brother ; 
And it shall come to pass, when thou shalt have rule, 
That thou shalt break his yoke from off thy neck.' ' 

N my last lecture I quoted these words as showing 
that the passage in which they occur must have 
been written in the early part of Solomon's reign, 
when the Edomite prince Hadad returned from 

his long exile in 


and raised a rebellion among 


people, and they broke from off their neck the yoke of Israel. 
But I notice this passage again, because it has mainly in- 
fluenced some eminent critics to assign a far later date to 
this and other Jehovistic portions of the Book of Genesis than 
the age of Solomon ; and indeed it is the only passage, as far as 
I know, that has been plausibly alleged in support of that view. 
We read, in fact, that more than a century after Solomon, in 
the days of Joram, son of Jehosaphat, king of Judah, ' Edom 
revolted from under the hand of Judah unto this day' ; ^ and 
hence it has been concluded that the prophecy before us must 
have been written some time after this event. But there 
seems to be no necessity whatever for such a conclusion. 

' G.xxvii.40. 

* 2K.viii.22. 


Ever)' other indication of time, which has been detected as 
yet in this part of the story in Genesis, points to the fifty years 
which include the last years of Saul and the first of Solomon. 
And, as to the passage we are now considering, the newly- 
found Moabite Stone brings further unexpected confirmation 
of the fact that the revolt of Hadad was successful, and Edom 
was really liberated from the yoke of Israel in Solomon's 

For we learn from that remarkable monument that Moab, 
which lay adjoining Edom, must in all probability in Solo- 
mon's time have recovered its independence, though once, 
like Edom, fearfully crushed under David's ferocious measures, 
and brought under the yoke of Israel.^ As one of the ablest 
commentators on this Stone has written, 'This therefore 
throws new light upon the Biblical history, inasmuch as it 
shows that the Moabites must either have taken advantage 
of the distracted state of Judaea [after the death of Solomon] 
to free themselves of the Jewish vassalage, or that they 
obtained their liberty wider Solomon. We incline to the 
latter opinion.''* In short, there can be little doubt that 
Edom and Syria, Moab and Ammon, outlying districts which 
David had subdued, all threw off the yoke of Israel as soon 
as the conqueror was dead, when Joab, the valiant warrior, 
whose name had been for thirty years a terror to the foes 
of Israel, had been put to death by Solomon's orders in the 
first years of his reign.® You will remember the pitiful story 
— about the aged priest Abiathar, who had followed David's 
fortunes for half a century, had fled to him when hiding from 
fear of Saul in the wilderness, had carried the ark before him 
afterwards as king, in his times of gladness and of grief, 
' having been afflicted in all wherein he was afflicted,' 6— and 
Joab, the commander-in-chief, who had been David's right- 

^ 2S.viii.2. •• GiNSBURG {Moabite Stoic, p.20.) 

» iK.ii.29,34. « iK.i.7, ii.26. 


hand from the first, had helped to gain so many victories, and 
had done so much to extend his empire, and who, thougli un- 
doubtedly a man of craft and blood, was surely not worse in 
/this respect than David himself, since we know that by 
David's orders he placed Uriah in the front of the battle, and 
left him there unsupported to perish by the enemy's hand, 
in order that the treacherous king might carry on undis- 
turbed his guilty intercourse with Bathsheba, Uriah's wife.^ 
You will remember, I say, how these old friends and comrades 
of David supported the claims of his eldest son Adonijah, and 
how a cabal was formed, headed by Nathan the prophet and 
Zadok the priest, in concert with the adulteress Bathsheba, to 
secure the throne for her own son Solomon, a mere youth,^ 
and how they prevailed upon the aged king, then in his dotage, 
to appoint Solomon as his successor.^ So David died and 
Solomon sat on the throne ; and soon, very soon, after 
Oriental fashion, on the first pla.usible pretext, Adonijah and 
Joab were killed by Solomon's orders ^° and Abiathar deposed 
from his priestly office.^^ 'And the king put Benaiah, son of 
Jehoiada' — the executioner of his bloody commands — 'in the 
room of Joab, and Zadok the priest did the king put in the 
room of Abiathar.' ^^ 

Under such a change of circumstances, w^hat w^onder is 
it that Syria and Edom, Moab and Ammon, should have 
thrown off the yoke of Israel, and that no efTort should have 
been made to suppress these rebellions ! It is true, we are 
told, that * Solomon reigned over all kingdoms from the 
River' — the great River Euphrates — * unto the land of the 
Philistines even unto the border of Egypt ; they brought 
presents and served Solomon all the days of his life.'' ^^ Again 
we read that * he had dominion over all across the River, 
from Tiphsah (or Thapsacus on the Euphrates) to Azzah (or 

' 2S.xi. 14-17. * iK.i.7,8. " iK.i.ii-40. '" iK.ii. 12-25,28-34. 

" iK.ii.26,27. '■■^ 1K.ii.35. '^ iK.iv.2i. 


Gaza on the shores of the Mediterranean), over all the 
kings across the River; and he had peace on all sides 
rowidaboiit him! ^^ But these notices are only the result of 
the glorifying imagination of a much later age, exaggerating 
the traditionary splendour of Solomon's reign; just as 
our own poet has depicted in glowing terms the magnificence 
of King Arthur's Court and the glory of his times. We see 
at once that they are not historically true ; for they contradict 
directly that other statement that Rezon, the rebel chief of 
Syria, ^ luas an adversary to Israel all the days of Solomon , 
besides the mischief that Hadad did,' ^^ so that certainly 
Solomon cannot have ' had peace on all sides roundabout 
him.' Moreover, the present English Version, which says 
that ' he had dominion over all on this side the River, over 
all the kings on this side the River,' beguiles the reader 
through a mistake of the translators. In the New Translation, 
no doubt, we shall find the passage rendered correctly, ^ over 
all beyond or across the River, over all the kings oji the other, 
farther side of the River' ; and it will then be seen that these 
words must have been written not in the land of Israel, but 
by some one of the exiles carried captive to Babylon centuries 
after the time of Solomon, or by one of their descendants, 
living in the Babylonish territory east of the Euphrates, and 
recording with natural pride his notion of the vast Empire, 
which according to the fond traditions of his people was 
ruled under the sceptre of Solomon, including * all the kings on 
the western side ' of the Euphrates. No doubt, Solomon did 
receive at first such an Empire from his father's hands : but 
it is plain that he did not retain his hold upon it. In the land 
of Israel itself, from Dan to Beersheba, and even in the trans- 
Jordanic lands occupied by Israelites, there was probably 
peace and prosperity during his reign ; though there are signs 

" 1K.iv.24. i'- 1K.xi.25. 


of internal disturbances,^^ which immediately after his death 
broke out in the rebellion of Jeroboam and the separation of 
the Ten Tribes from the kingdom of Judah, — when they said 
to his son Rehoboam, * Thy father made our yoke heavy, but 
make thou it lighter to us,' ^^ and he answered, * My father 
chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with 
scorpions,' ^^ and they shouted, ' What portion have we in 
David, neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse ! To 
your tents, O Israel ! ' — that is, everyone to his own home ! 
' Now see to thine own house, David ! ' ^^ These heavy 
tributes were doubtless levied in contributions or in labour, 
partly for building purposes, for the Temple, his own palace, 
and the other edifices with which he adorned or strengthened 
Jerusalem,2° but partly also, we must suppose, for supplying 
the wants of his large harem and luxurious Court.^^ At all 
events we read of no warlike exploit in the reign of Solomon 
under his new commander-in-chief ; and Edom and Ammon, 
as well as Syria and Moab, most probably regained their in- 
dependence without difficulty, and ' broke the yoke of Israel 
from off their neck.' A century afterwards, however, in the 
time of Jehosaphat, king of Judah, the power of Judah seems 
to have prevailed again over Edom, since we are told that 
in his days ' there was no king in Edom, a deputy was king' ;^^ 
as Moab also, according to the Moabite Stone, had been 
subdued by Omri, king of Israel, the father of Ahab, who 
reigned about fifty years after Solomon's time. 

Let us now consider the very striking prediction of the 
future fortunes of the Twelve Tribes, put into the mouth of 
Jacob when near his death,^^ which also belongs to the Jeho- 
vistic passages, as appears from the ejaculation in the midst 

•« iK.xi. 26-28, 40. '^ '8 iK.xii,i4. '^ iK.xii.i6. 

■^^ iK.v. 11,13-18, vii. 1-12,13-51, ix. 15-19, xi.27. 
2' iK.iv. 7,22,23,26,28, x. 5, 14-26, xi.1-3. 22 1K.xxii.47. 23 G.xlix.i-27. 


of it, * I have waited for Thy Salvation, JEHOVAH ! ',^4 as well 
as from the style and phraseology throughout. ^^ Some words 
are here addressed to each of the tribes, corresponding, no 
doubt, to their actual circumstances at the time when this 
passage was written. But we will confine our attention to 
the language used with reference to Judah, Joseph, and 

Listen now, first, to the Blessing on Judah. 

* Judah ! thou — thy brethren shall praise thee ; 
Thy hand is on the neck of thy foes ; 
Thy father's sons shall bow down to thee, 
A lion's whelp is Judah, 
Ravaging the young of the sucking-ewes ; 
He stooped, he crouched, as a lion, 
And as a lioness — who shall rouse him ? 
The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, 
Nor the ruler's rod from between his feet, 
Until he come to Shiloh, 
And to him be the obedience of the peoples. ' ^^ 

Now in what age can such words as these have been written } 
Is it not plain that we have here the reign of David 
depicted, the lion of the tribe of Judah, — that we have 
here the lordship of Judah over the tribes, the triumphs of 
David over his foes } Yet his conquests are not completed ; 
for * the sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's 
rod from between his feet,' — in other words, the reign of 
David shall endure, — 'until he shall come to Shiloh, and 
to him be the obedience of the peoples ; ' where there 
appears to be an allusion to the fact that, when the wars of 
Israel on entering the Promised Land were ended, as 
described in the Book of Joshua, and the whole land 'was 
subdued before them,' Joshua and the people, according to 
the story, 'came to Shiloh,'- and set up the sacred Tent of 
Meeting there. ^^ So David, too, would ' come to Shiloh ' 

" G.xlix.iS. 2-^ Pent. V. An.y^'j. 

2« G.xlix.8-io. 27 j.xviii.i. 


in a metaphorical sense, that is, he would ' come to rest,' 
for the word ' Shiloh ' means * rest,' and bring up the sacred 
ark to Mount Zion, into the Tent which he had prepared 
for it.2* And, accordingly, the very first words, which 
follow the account of the bringing up of the ark, inform 
us that ' Jehovah had given David rest roicndaboiit from all 
his eiieinies,"^'^ the identical expression which is used to 
describe the condition of the Israelites under Joshua, ^^ 
when 'the land was subdued before them.' It is true that 
war broke out again and again to disturb the peace of 
David,^^ and his rest was mournfully disturbed in later times 
by family troubles, the consequences for the most part of 
his own folly and sin.^^ But the words before us clearly 
point to the golden time of David's reign ; we hear a 
trumpet-sound of war in them, as well as a full tone of 
royalty. And they were probably written not long before 
the time when the ark was brought up to Jerusalem in the 
fourteenth year of his reign — when the opposition of the 
Northern Tribes, who for seven years had held out against 
him, was at an end,^^ and ' his father's sons had bowed ' 
to the rule of Judah — when David had already come to 
rest after his first great victories, and had not yet commit- 
ted that great sin which embittered the latter portion of 
his life.^'* Think of his daughter Tamar dishonoured by 
her half-brother Amnon^^ — Amnon murdered by her brother 
Absalom ^^ — David's long and mournful estrangement from 
Absalom ^^ — the rebellion of Absalom^* — the treason of 
Ahitophel,^^ explained by the fact that he was the grand- 
father of Bathsheba,'*^ — the wretched flight of David from 
Jerusalem,''^ under the insulting curses of Shimei,'*^ — 

28 12-19. " 2S.vii. I. 30 j,xxi.44, xxii.4, xxiii. i. 

3' 2S.x,xii.26-3i. 32 2S.xiii, &c. " 2S.v.i^5. 

"< 2S.xi,xii. 35 2S.xiii.1-22. 36 2S.xiii.23-36. 

3^ 2S.xiii. 37-39, xiv. ^s 2S.xv.i-ii. ^9 2S.XV. 12,31, xvi. 20-23. 

" 2S.xi.3, xxiii.34. ■•' 28. XV. 13-30. ''^ 2S. xvi. 5-14. 


Absalom's outrage upon his father's wives'*^ — his miserable 
death/'' and his father's broken heart ''^ — the insurrection 
of the Benjamite Sheba''^ — the overbearing arrogance of 
Joab/^ as one who had his master in his power, being 
cognizant of his guilty secret, and the confidential agent 
of his crime/* known or suspected probably by some, as 
Nathan the prophet,'*^ but not perhaps generally divulged 
to the people ! No ! it is impossible that such grand words 
about Judah can have been written after that melancholy 
turning-point in David's history in the twentieth year of 
his reign. 

Let us take now the Blessing pronounced on JOSEPH. 

' A fruitful branch is Joseph, 
A fruitful branch by a spring ; 
The sprout mounts over the wall . . . 
Blessings of the heaven above, 
Blessings of the deep couching beneath, 
Blessings of the breast and of the womb . . . 
May they be upon the head of Joseph, 
And on the crown of the pre-eminent among his brethren.' ^^ 

A passage like this with such warm laudations of Joseph, 
that is, of the populous and powerful tribe of Ephraim, the 
leader of the Northern Tribes, could hardly have been 
written after the rupture between Judah and Ephraim in 
the days of Rehoboam,^^ nor even in the latter part of 
Solomon's reign when dissatisfaction already existed be- 
tween them.^2 These words also suit best that golden 
period in David's reign, when the Northern Tribes had 
joined him after their seven years' opposition,"^^ forming by 
their redundant population the main body of his forces, 
' Ephraim the strength of his head ' as * Judah was his 
lawgiver,' ^^ and helping him greatly in achieving his recent 

" 2S.xvi.22. " 2S.xviii.9-i7. 4* 2S.xviii.33, xix. 1-4. "^ 2S. XX. 1-22. 

*' 2S.xviii. 12-14, xix. 5-7, XX.8-IO. ^^ 2S.xi. 14-25. ■'"2S.xii.1-14. 

*" G.xlix.22-26. ^' iK.xii. 19,20. ^2 iK.xii.3,4. 

" 2S.V.1-5. " Ps.lx.7. 


conquests. And indeed it would be very natural that an 
effort should have been made to soothe in this way any 
feelings of mortified pride which might and, as later events 
showed/^ did actually exist in the tribe of Ephraim, at the 
supremacy having been made over in such plain words to 
Judah. But the tone of tenderness, which marks this 
address to Joseph, seems almost to imply a special affection, 
a personal interest, for the tribe in question, as if the 
writer was himself an Ephraimite, though warmly attached 
to the house of David. 

And, lastly, these are some of the words spoken of Levi, 

' Simeon and Levi are brethren ; 
Instruments of wrong are their weapons. 
Into then- circle let not my soul enter ! 
Into their assembly let not mine honour be joined ! . . 
Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce ! 
And their wrath, for it was hard ! 
I will portion them out in Jacob, 
And I will scatter them in Israel. ' ^^ 

How little indication have we here of the glory and dignity 
to which the Levites attained in a far later age ! They are 
spoken of here in disparaging terms, as having no territory 
of their own like the other tribes, as being * portioned out 
in Jacob ' and ' scattered in Israel.' To whomsoever this 
utterance may be ascribed — whether to Jacob himself or 
to Moses on the traditionary view, or to some writer of 
David's age, as we conclude — it is clear that he had not the 
least anticipation of the dignity and ample prerogatives 
enjoyed by the Levites in later days, and specially secured 
to them by numerous laws in the subsequent Books of the 
Pentateuch. Here they are simply placed on a level with 
the Simeonites, the feeblest tribe of all, which was soon 
absorbed in Judah, to which most of its towns are reckoned,^^ 
and which is not even named as adhering with Judah to the 

" 3S.xix.4i-43. '■'^ G.xlix.5-7. " cowp. J. xix.2-7 with xv. 26, 28-23. 



house of David/5^ though its territory from its very position 
must have formed part of the Southern Kingdom. 

The whole history of the Levites must be left for con- 
sideration on a future occasion. For the present it is 
enough to say that the only mention of them in the Book 
of Judges is in the last five chapters, where we read of one 
homeless vagabond of this tribe 'sojourning where he could 
find a place,' ^^ that is, a place to act as priest— a chap- 
laincy, as we should say— at any one of the various high- 
places which in those days stood in all parts of the land, 
and of another who 'sojourned in Mount Ephraim,' but 
was 'going up to the House of Jehovah' at Shiloh, per- 
haps with the purpose of sacrificing or else of earning his 
livelihood by helping in priestly ofifices there. But there 
is no sign of any large number of Levites assisting the 
sons of Eli or Eli himself, when officiating as priests at 
Shiloh. It is even predicted that Eli's descendants should 
' come and crouch ' to the chief priest of their time ' for a 
piece of silver and a morsel of bread, saying, Put me, I 
pray thee, into one of the priests' offices, that I may eat a 
piece of bread.' From these examples it is natural to infer 
that even in David's time, before the Temple was built, an 
event which no doubt added somewhat to their dignity, little 
account was made comparatively of the Levites. A few 
probably officiated at Jerusalem, and others at the different 
high-places throughout the land ; and for these, of course, 
sufficient provision was made out of the sacrifices. But 
the rest appear to have been dispersed about the country, 
at least during the first years of David's reign, before the 
ark was brought up to Mount Zion, getting their living as 
best they could, as by acting as priests in private houses, 
when they could not find employment at some one or other 

^ iK.xii.20. ss Ju.xvii.8,9. 


of the idolatrous altars scattered throughout the land. 
About the twelfth year of David they might well be spoken 
of by the writer of this prediction, as 'portioned out in 
Jacob and scattered in Israel.' 

You will now, I trust, have some clear idea of the origin 
and composition of the Book of Genesis : and I hope to set 
before you information of a similar kind with reference to the 
other four Books of the Pentateuch. And, if we may judge 
from the signs of the times, the day is not far distant when 
all the more enlightened of the Clergy of different denomina- 
tions will take at once the stand which in the end must 
assuredly be taken, will welcome heartily the facts as they 
are and bring them forth in their habitual teaching, so making 
them by degrees familiarly known to the people. In this 
way, without any dangerous shock to their faith, an ignorant 
and superstitious reverence for the mere letter of the Bible 
would give way to an intelligent reception of the life and 
spirit of its Divine Teaching, and a true appreciation of the 
real value of the ancient Hebrew Scriptures, as containing the 
records of the dawn of religious light among that people, to 
whom above all others have been committed of old the 
' oracles of God,' the revelations of Eternal truth to the heart 
of man. In short, let the Bible be explained from the pulpit 
and taught in the Sunday School : but let the truth be told 
about its contents, and old and young be no longer misled by 
a blind enforcement of traditionary views. Those are admir- 
able words which have lately been uttered on this point : — * I 
feel absolute confidence in three things. First, I shall never 
believe in the religiousness of falsehood ; and therefore I 
altogether deprecate the idea of the conscious maintenance of 
any falsehood on the part of the teacher for the purpose of 
maintaining a religious effect, or, as he may think, of saving a 
religious effect, which otherwise might be injured or sacrificed. 

F 2 


The second principle is akin to the first, viz., that there can 
be no danger ultimately in what is clearly and plainly true. I 
do not say there may be no inconvenience, no particular 
mischief and danger for the time ; but it is a danger which it 
is our duty to encounter if we are sure that a thing is true. 
The third principle is this : the basis of our Sunday School 
teaching must continue to be the Scriptures of the Old and 
New Testament. I am convinced that there can be nothing 
but a more religious influence derived from the Bible the 
better and the more thoroughly it is understood, and that the 
more progress is made in the clearing of it, the ascertainment 
of what portion of the history is true and what portion is not 
true, and when the books were written and when they were 
not written, and what the relative authority is and the value 
of this book or that — the more clearly and distinctly we can 
see this, the better will the Bible be fitted for purposes of 
religious instruction. The difificulties of the Bible arise all 
from the assumption that it is all of equal religious authority, 
and that every part of it can be taken and used for the 
purposes of producing religious impression. The moment we 
attempt this, we come across things which shock our moral 
feeling and our historical sense of what is true. If we once 
know the Bible critically, we know perfectly well that we can 
discharge those things which obstruct our religious teaching, 
and save the gems that remain for religious use, and that they 
will have more value and a greater influence in that condition 
than if they are mixed up with a mass of material that can 
serve no direct religious or spiritual purpose. We are there- 
fore greatly indebted to those who take up our ancient 
Scriptures, and bring them directly face to face before the 
religious conscience of the present day, showing how we may 
clear away questionable elements, and preserve that which is 
to build up the faith and action of the future.' ^° 

«i" Martineau {Pall-Mall Gazette, June 14, 1872, /. 5). 



Recapitulation ; the Elohistic Narrative in Exodus ; its statement that 
the name Jehovah was not known to the patriarchs, to whom God ap- 
peared, once and again, by the name El Shaddai ; another view of this 
passage shown to be erroneous ; names in the Elohistic Narrative formed 
with Elohim, not Jehovah ; obscurity caused by the Jehovist representing 
the name as kno-wTi in primeval times ; the Elohistic Narrative ends with 
the revelation of the Name in; this points to the Hebrews having 
first become acquainted with it about the time of the Exodus ; the mysterious 
name of the Phoenician and Syrian Sun-God ; the Sun worshipped every- 
where in Canaan as the Baal or Lord of the land ; this evidenced by names 
of places ; lAO used to express in Greek the Hebrew Deity, and also the 
Sun-God, as shown by an ancient oracle ; lACCHUS and the cry at the 
Bacchic festival ; Phoenician names formed, like Hebrew, with Yahveh, 
and Hebrew, like Phoenician, with Baal ; these latter not allowed to appear 
in the Books of Samuel ; the Hebrews adopted the worship of Yahveh the 
Sun-God of Canaan ; Yahveh first recognised as the God of Israel when the 
national life began under Saul ; the Elohist, disliking this origin of the 
Name, composed the story of its revelation to Moses; the Name HE IS, 
expressing well the Living God ; progressive development of Divine Truth in 


;N my previous Lectures, starting from the phenomena 
presented by the New Lectionary, I have pointed 
out the existence of narratives by different writers 
in the Book of Genesis, a fact which is plainly 
betrayed by their differences of style and expression, as well 
as by varying and sometimes contradictory statements. Of 
these writers, the oldest, who uses only the name ' Elohim ' 
for the Divine Being, may very possibly, I said, have been the 
prophet Samuel, composing here a sketch of primeval times 
for the use of the students of his schools. But this older 
narrative, the foundation of the whole story of the Exodus, 
has been considerably enlarged by another writer, the 
Jehovist, who uses also the name 'JEHOVAH,' as the personal 
name of the Elohim of Israel. And both sets of passages are 
distinguished not only by this peculiarity in the use of the 
Divine Name, but each by its own distinct phraseology. 
Indeed, as I observed, some insertions in the Book of Genesis, 
and they are moreover the oldest, do not contain * Jehovah * 
at all, and yet exhibit plainly the style of the Jehovist through- 
out, and therefore appear to be due to his hand. We are 
brought, then, face to face with this singular fact, that the 
writer of the oldest portions of Genesis has for som.e reason 


or Other deliberately abstained from using the name 'Jehovah/ 
and the writer of the oldest of the supplementary insertions 
follows the same rule. I purpose to consider in this Lecture 
the probable explanation of this peculiarity. 

But first let me illustrate further the fact in question by 
reference to the Book of Exodus, which has not yet been 
touched upon in these Lectures. We find here the same 
phenomena precisely as in Genesis ; that is to say, we find 
here also passages in which only Elohim is used, and which 
agree exactly in style with the Elohistic passages in Genesis, 
and, like those, when extracted from the rest of the Book, 
form a complete connected narrative ; and these are separated, 
as the story now stands, by a number of other passages 
written in a totally difTerent style, the style in fact of the 
Jehovist in Genesis, which expand and enliven the more brief 
and sombre details of the older story. 

I will now read to you that portion of the ancient Elohistic 
Narrative, which we are able to extract from the first six 
chapters of the Book of Exodus. 

And these are the names of the children of Israel, who came 
to Egypt with Jacob, each and his house they came — Reuben. 
Simeon, Levi, and Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin, Dan 
and Naphtali, Gad and Asher. And all the souls that went 
forth out of Jacob's loins were seventy souls ; and Joseph was 
in Egypt. 

And Joseph died and all his brethren and all that generation. 
And the children of Israel fructified and teemed and multiplied, 
and were exceedingly mighty, and the land was filled with them. 
And the Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with 
rigour. And the children of Israel sighed because of the service, 
and they cried, and their wail went up to ELOHIM because 
of the service. And ELOHIM heard their sighing and ELOHIM 
remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with 
Jacob. And ELOHIM saw the children of Israel and ELOHIM 


And ELOHIM spake unto Moses and said unto him, I am 
JEHOVAH. And I appeared unto Abraham, and unto Isaac, and 
unto Jacob, as EL SHADDAI (GOD ALMIGHTY) ; but by My 
I name JEHOVAH (I was not known, or) I did not make myself 
known to them. And I have also established My covenant with 
them, to give to them the land of Canaan, the land of their 
sojournings in which they sojourned. And I have also heard 
the sighing of the children of Israel, whom the Egyptians 
make-to-serve, and I have remembered My covenant.* 

You will have noticed the frequent repetition of the name 
Elohim in these few verses ; and you will have observed also 
the fact that the writer here states that the name JEHOVAH 
was not even known to the patriarchs. ^ I appeared unto 
Abraham, and unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, as El Shaddai ; ' * 
and so the Deity appears to Abraham and to Jacob, and in 
each case says ^ I am El Shaddal' ^ But the account of a 
like revelation to Isaac must either have been cancelled, which 
is not probable, or the promises made by El Shaddai to 
Abraham — ' to be a God to thee and to thy seed after thee,' 

* to give to thee and to thy seed after thee all the land of 
Canaan,' ' Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed, and 
thou shalt call his name Isaac, and I will establish My 
covenant with him and his seed after him ' ^ — may have been 
regarded as virtually including an 'appearance' to Isaac. 
And this last explanation seems to be confirmed by the words 
ascribed to El Shaddai in the account of the revelation to 
Jacob, which seems to refer to these promises to Abraham, 

* and the land which I gave to Abraham and to Isaac, to thee 
will I give it, and to thy seed after thee will I give the land,* '* 
as also by the statement with which this latter account is in- 
troduced, 'and Elohim appeared to Jacob again when he 
came out of Padan-Aram and blessed him'^ — not 'appeared 

' E.i.i-7, 13, ii.23b-25, vi.2-5. 2 G.xvii.i, xxxv. II. 

^ G.xvii.7,8, 19. < G. xxxv. 12, * G.XXXY.9. 


again to Jacob! as if this was the second appearance of El 
Shaddai to Jacob, in which case he would have been more 
highly distinguished than even Abraham himself, and no 
former appearance to Jacob has been recorded by this ancient 
writer, but 'appeared again — a second time — to one of the 
patriarchs, and in this case to Jacob,' a sign of superabundant 
Divine Favour towards them, since the first appearance to 
Abraham included them all. ' But by My name Jehovah I 
did not make-myself-known to them.' These words might 
indeed be explained, as they are by some commentators, to 
mean only this, ' I did not make myself thoroughly known to 
them — I did not reveal to them the full meaning of my name 
Jehovah, though they knew and used that name familiarly.' 
Thus the writer in the New Bible Commentary paraphrases 
the passage as follows, * I manifested Myself to the patriarchs 
in the character of El Shaddai, the Omnipotent God, able 
to fulfil that which I had promised ; but as to My name {i.e., 
My character and attributes) of Jehovah, I was not made 
manifest to them.' ^ It is hard to reconcile such an explana- 
tion with the fact that Jehovah Himself is represented as 
saying to Abraham, ' I am JEHOVAH, &c.,' ^ and that Abraham 
is said to have * believed in JEHOVAH ; ' ^ though even this 
might be allowed, if there were no other reason for doubting 
the correctness of this view. But when we know that the 
Elohistic Narrative can be taken out by itself from the Book 
of Genesis — that the writer of it has deliberately suppressed 
the name Jehovah throughout his account of the times before 
the Exodus — that he never puts it into the mouth of any one 
of the patriarchs before or after the Flood — that he gives us 
numerous names in Genesis compounded with Elohim or El, 
such as Isra^/, Ishma^/,^ and not one compounded with 

« Bp. Browne (^.C, I./. 26). ' G.xv.7. ^ G.xv.6. 

» Mahalale^/. G.Z/.I2; Adbe^/, G.xxv. 13; i^/iphaz, Reu<?/, Mehetabt'/, Mag- 
dit'/, G.xxxvi.4,39,43 ; Jemu(?/, Jahlet'/, MalchitV, Jalize^/, G.xlvi. 10,14, 17,24; 
besides Isia<7 an.d Ishma^7. 


Jehovah or Jah, like those which occur elsewhere so fre- 
quently in the Bible — when, I say, we take note of these facts, 
it is clear that the writer intended to represent the name 
Jehovah as not even known before the Exodus, as first re- 
vealed to man when * Elohim spake unto Moses and said 
unto him, I am Jehovah ; and I appeared unto Abraham, 
and unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, as El Shaddai ; but by 
My name Jehovah I did not make-myself-known unto 

For some reason, then, this ancient writer regards this 
sacred name as not having been used at all by the patriarchs 
or their descendants before the time of the Exodus. It is 
true that no one would perceive this fact in the Bible from 
merely reading the Book of Genesis as it now lies before us. 
However surprised he might be at perceiving the difference 
between the first account of the Creation, which uses only 
Elohim, and the second, which uses only JEHOVAH Elohim, 
he would never suppose that the former peculiarity can be 
traced distinctly throughout the whole Book of Genesis, in the 
parts belonging to that ancient writer to whom we owe the 
first account of the Creation — more especially when he saw 
that in the greater part of Genesis no such peculiarity exists, 
that the name Jehovah is freely used by patriarchs before 
and after the Flood,^° nay, even by heathen persons,^^ and we 
are told that, as early as the days of Adam's son Seth or his 
grandson Enos, * then began men to call upon the name of 
Jehovah.' ^^ This later writer, it is plain, has abandoned 
altogether the idea of the Elohist, and supposes the sacred 
name to have been known from a very early time in the his- 
tory of the human race. Accordingly he puts it everywhere 
into the mouths of persons introduced as speaking, and repre- 

"» G.iv. I, V.29, ix.26, xiv.22, xv.2,8, xvi-S, &c. *' G.xxvi.28,29. 

•2 G.iv. 26. 


sents the Deity as appearing to Jacob and saying, * I am 
Jehovah, the Elohim of Abraham thy father and the Elohim 
of Isaac.' ^^ By these insertions the older story is completely 
overlaid, and its Elohistic character hid from the sight of most 
readers. It is only when it is extracted separately from the 
Book of Genesis that we find it forming a continuous narrative 
in which the name Jehovah is carefully suppressed. 

What, now, can be the reason of this } And here I must 
observe that the Elohistic Narrative in the Pentateuch ends 
with the words which I have just read as the portion of it con- 
tained in the first six chapters of the Book of Exodus, We 
find no trace of it after this passage. It would seem as if the 
older writer — Samuel, as we suppose — having undertaken to 
sketch the history of the primeval times, had completed his 
work so far as to record the revelation of the name Jehovah 
to Moses, and then had stopped — his labours having been 
perhaps finished according to his original intention, when he 
had brought the narrative up to this critical point in the his- 
tory of Israel, or perhaps cut short by sickness or death, and 
the story of the Exodus having been afterwards carried on 
and completed by his disciples. What, I repeat, is the his- 
torical fact implied by this circumstance, that the oldest writer 
of the Pentateuch represents the name JEHOVAH as first com- 
municated to Moses, and through him to Israel, at the time of 
the Exodus ? Since this statement, as we have seen, is directly 
at variance with the other parts of Genesis, which assume this 
name to have been known from the first, we are relieved from 
any necessity of regarding either view as historically true. 
Nevertheless, the statement of the Elohist must mean some- 
thing ; it must point to some fact which that writer had before 
his mind's eye, and for which he has tried to account by say- 
ing that the name was first made known to the Israelites at 

" G.xxviii. 13. 


the time of the Exodtcs. And what can that fact have been 
but this, that it really then first became known to them — then, 
at or about the time of the Exodus — not, indeed, in Egypt, 
as here supposed, before they started on their march to 
Canaan, nor by means of a miraculous revelation to Moses 
and an audible voice — but by contact with the tribes of 
Canaan, as soon as they had crossed the Jordan and settled 
down as inhabitants in that land. 

Accordingly, modern researches ^'* have shown that among 
the Canaanite tribes, especially among the Phoenicians and 
Syrians in the northern districts, the Sun-God was worshipped 
under a mysterious name almost identical with the name 
Jehovah, or, as it should be pronounced more properly, 
Yahveh or Yahweh. The Syrian word is Yakhveh, the 
Hebrew Yahveh, differing only in fact by a stronger, more 
guttural, aspirate being heard in the former name, as the Zulu 
aspirate is heard more strongly north of the Tugela than 
south of it. All over the land of Canaan the worship of the 
Sun-God prevailed ; as indeed it is most natural that in the 
first dawning of religious life the Sun should have been re- 
garded as the most glorious symbol of the unseen Deity- 
should at one time have been hailed as the life-giver, the 
source of health and strength, the bountiful dispenser of food 
and plenty, to be worshipped with joyous festivals, at another 
have been dreaded as the life destroyer, the cause of famine, 
disease, and death, to be entreated with earnest supplications 
and appeased with gloomy rites. He was, in fact, regarded 
as the Baal or Lord, in the sense of Owner or Husband of 
the land ; and accordingly we find a multitude of places men- 
ioned in the Bible in all parts of the country, where the Sun- 
God was worshipped under some special appellation, as Baal- 
Hazor,^^ Baal-Hermon,^^ &c., ' our Lord ' of this place or that, 

" Movers {P/ionizier, XIV./. 539-558, translated in PentN .App.xix.). 
»6 2S.xiii.23. '^ Ju.iii.3 


just as in Roman Catholic countries shrines are set up in 
different localities to * our Lady ' of this place or that. Be- 
sides which, the prevalence of Sun-worship among the ancient 
inhabitants of the land of Canaan is abundantly indicated by 
such names as these, Beth-Shemesh,^^ ' House of the Sun,* 
like Beth-El, ' House of Elohim,' En-Shemesh,'^ * Fountain 
of the Sun,' Ir-Shemesh,!^ * City of the Sun,' &c. 

The mysterious name of the Syrian Sun-God, moreover, 
is expressed by heathen writers by the very same word lAO, 
by which Christian Fathers and others express the Hebrew 
name of the Deity. Thus Clement of Alexandria says of 
the God of the Jews, * He is called lAOU, which is inter- 
preted to mean Who IS AND Who shall be ' ; ^o and 
DiODORUS tells us, * It is said that among the Arimaspians 
Zathraustes professed that the Good Spirit had given him 
his laws, and that among the Jews Moses made a similar 
claim with regard to the Deity named lAO.'^^ On the other 
hand an ancient oracle says — * It was right that those initiated 
should conceal the soul-soothing mysteries. But in deceit 
there is little sense and a slender understanding. Take 
notice that lAO is the highest of all the gods; in winter 
Hades, Zeus in commencing spring, Helios in summer, 
and in the autumn lAO.' ^^ Thus, as one explains this 
oracle, * lAO is the highest of all the gods, because he gives 
life to all, and his dwelling is heaven which spreads over all. 
Yet in heaven he reveals Himself specially by the Sun. In 
winter, when the nights are longest, the god prefers to dwell 
in the under-world, and rules over the shades as Hades. 
In the spring-time, when the grain-harvest is at hand, all 
depends upon the weather, upon sufficient rain and sunshine ; 
and the god is addressed as Zeus, as especially the god of 

" J.xv. lO. '^ J. XV. 7. '^ T.xix.41. 

-0 Strof7iN.p.^()2, ed. /"rrr. 1869. -' L/. 105, ed. Wessding, 

22 Macrobius {Sat.l.i?>). 


heaven and of the weather. In the summer he is the scorch- 
ing Sun, which burns up everything, and is tempered by no 
cloud. Lastly, in the autumn comes the ripeness of the fig, 
olive, pomegranate, above all of the grape with its mysterious 
life-awakening juice ; and now is the god known as the tender 
lAO, the spring of all beauty, love, and life.' ^^ 

This joyous, autumn form of the Sun-God was the Deity 
known among the Greeks under the name of Dionysus or 
lacchus, which last name clearly points to the Phoenician 
Yakhveh, as do also other expressions and ejaculations 
used in Sun-worship, ^^ e.g. the repeated cry of lA or YA at 
the triennial feast of lacchus or Bacchus, which reminds 
us of the triennial feast upon the tithes among the Hebrevvs,^^ 
and of the festival cry, ' Hallelu-YAH ! ' ^^ The Sun-God 
was also called 'Adonis,' i.e. 'Lord,' in the sense of Master, 
as also 'the Most High God': and the Deity is repeatedly 
called by both these names in the Hebrew Bible.^^ And as 
Hebrew names were compounded with J AH or lAH,^* we 
find also Phoenician names similarly formed. Thus in Virgil, 
the Phoenician courtier, who 'quickly drained the foaming 
bowl and laved himself in the brimming gold,' '^ is called 
Bithias, which is merely the Hebrew Bith/<^//,^° the same in 
meaning as Bethu^/,^^ compounded with El\ and so Josephus^^ 
mentions a Tyrian Abdaeus, which is only the Greek form of 
the Hebrew Obad/*^//. Again, Phoenician names were in 
like manner compounded with Baal., as Hannz<^<^/, which 
corresponds exactly to the Hebrew Hannir/, or Hananr/, or 
^/hanan,^^ Hann/rt'/^ or y^^hanan,^^ i.e.^ John, with the Divine 

" Land {Theol. Tijdschr., March, 1868, /.i6i). 
2^ Movers (as above, Pent.N .App.\\\.2i-'}^\). 

" D.ȴ.28,29, xxvi. 12, Am.iv.4. 26 Seg Ps.Ixviii.4. 

2' For 'Lord' see G.xv.2,8, E.iv.10,13, xv.17, xxxiv.9, &c. ; for 'Most High 
God' see G.xiv, 18, 19,20,22, N.xxiv. 16, D.xxxii.8, &c. 

^^ e.g. Hezek/i///, AdoniyVz//, where y<z/i is properly iah ox yah. 
" y^«.L738. ='" iCh.iv.i8. ^i G.xxii.22. ^2 c.Ap.l.iZ. 

I, 2S.xxi.19. '* iCh.iii. 19, 2K.xxv.23. 


Name prefixed in the form JcJio or Jo, — as Asdru/'^/ does to 
Azri^/ or Azarr/,^'^ ^/iezer 6r ^/eazar,^^ KzAxiaJi or y^ezer.-"^^ 
On the other hand one of David's officers was called Baal- 
hanan,^* which is only Hannidal inverted ; while the name 
of Saul's son was Esh/;^^/ and of Saul's grandson Merrib/w^?/,^^ 
and even of David's son Baa/yadsh,'^^ and one of David's 
warriors is called BaaljaJi^^ meaning * Jah is Baal.' The first 
three of these names, indeed — all of which may be seen in 
the Books of Chronicles — have been modified in the Books 
of Samuel, and appear there as l^bosJictJi, Mephi^<?j-//^///, 
^/yadah."^ And the reason of these changes is plain. 
Among pious Jews after the Captivity the more ancient 
and venerable Books of Samuel were more highly honoured 
and more commonly read than the very late Books of 
Chronicles. It is probable, therefore, that the Jewish Scribes, 
desiring to obliterate as much as possible, or at least to 
obscure, the traces of so close a connexion between the 
religion of Israel in the time of David and Solomon and the 
idolatrous worship of Canaan, suppressed the offensive ' Baal ' 
in these names in those histories which were most studied by 
their countrymen. 

But why should there be any doubt that the Hebrews 
adopted the Canaanitish Sun-worship t We are told re- 
peatedly that, when settled in Canaan, they 'followed other 
Elohim of the Elohim of the people that were round about 
them.'^'"^ It is certain, therefore, that they must have adopted 
the worship of the Sun-God, and taken part in the lascivious 
or bloody rites accompanying that worship. In fact, if they 
wished to be regarded as possessors of the soil, it was 
necessary, according to the notions of those days, that they 

"^ iCh.xxvii. 19,22. ^^ Ezr.x.23,25. ^' iCh.ix. II, xii.6. 

38 iCh.xxvii.28. 33 iCh.ix.39,40. "« iCh.xiv.7. 

<' iCh.xii.5. "2 2S.ii.8, iv.4, V. 16, coinp. iCh.iii.8. 

•*^ Ju.ii. 12, 17,19, iii.6,7, vi. 10, and see especially vi.25 32. 


should do homage to Yahveii, the 'God of the land.' ^^ 
And what at first was done through mere imitation of the 
practices of the surrounding tribes, was at last established 
as the law of the whole community, in the time of Samuel, 
under the first king Saul. Then Israel was first formed into 
a nation, and then, too, Yahveh was first formally ac- 
knowledged as the National Deity of Israel ; and his might 
and pre-eminence over the gods of the neighbouring nations 
were fully exhibited in the view of the people, when David's 
armies marched triumphantly under his auspices. * Lift up 
your heads, O ye gates, and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors, 
and the King of Glory shall come in ! Who is this King of 
Glory t It is Yahveh strong and mighty ! it is Yahveii 
mighty in battle.''*'^ 

Such, then, is the explanation, which seems to be most 
probable, of the singular peculiarity which characterises the 
Elohistic Narrative in the use of the Divine Name. The 
writer, it would seem, was unwilling that the Name of 
Israel's Deity should be traced to the worship of the tribe.f 
of Canaan. But he knew that the name was unknown to 
the Israelites before they entered Canaan ; and he wrote 
this account of the revelation of it to Moses about the 
time of the Exodus in order to explain this fact. But 
what matters it whence they obtained the name, which 
must have been invented somewhere, by some one, at some 
time or other .? It is enough that the great prophets of 
Israel, taught by the Divine Spirit, saw that it was a name 
well suited to express the idea of the One only True and 
Living God, in opposition to the dumb idols of the heathen, 
to the blocks and stones which some even among the 
Israelites ignorantly worshipped,"*^ or the figure of an ox 
under which the Sun-God was long adored by Canaanites 

*• 2K.xvii. 26 -28,33,41, comp. 1S.xxvi.i9. ••s Ps.xxiv.7,8. 

*** Jc1-.ii.27. 



and Israelites allke.''^ The name Yahveh means ' He Is,' 
being derived from the Hebrew verb which means 'to be'; 
and so we read * And Elhoim said unto Moses, I Am That 
I Am ; and He said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children 
of Israel, I Am hath sent me unto you.'^® And the prophets 
seem to have eagerly seized on this idea that the God of 
Israel was Yahveh, He Is, the Living God, the Being by 
whom all things else had life and being. From age to age 
these prophets strove to raise their people to higher views of 
the Divine Being, of His nature and character, and His 
relations to man. And gradually their own minds were 
enlightened, their own views became more bright and clear ; 
and they had even glimpses of the glorious truth that the 
Living God was not the God of Israel only, but the Father 
of spirits, the Faithful Creator,"^^ the * confidence of all the 
ends of the earth.' ^^ 

Let us thankfully trace the progressive development of 
Divine Truth among Israel of old, even down to him who 
has revealed to us fully our Father's Love and our Father's 
Holiness, and has given us a name 'better than that of our 
sons and daughters.' ^^ Let us devoutly receive the reve- 
lations made to us in the past by the hands of our brethren 
of Jewish or other races, whom He has chosen to be His 
special ministers to us-ward for this great work, but be ready 
also to welcome joyfully the revelations of the present day, 
each * good and perfect gift coming down from above from 
the Father of lights.' ^^ 

*^ E.xxxii.i-6, iK.xii.28,29. "8 E.iii.14. 

*^ Ps.xxii.27, Lxxxvi.9, xcviii,3, Is.xlii.6, xlv. 22,23, xlix.6, lx.3. 
"» Ps.lxv.s. ^» Is.lvi.5. *2jam,i.i7. 




Recapitulation ; in some passages of Exodus, not due to the Elohist, only 
Elohim is used, in some Jehovah appears, but sparingly, in others more 
freely ; this explained by the age in which such passages were composed, as 
the name Jehovah became more familiarly employed in the reigns of David 
and Solomon ; Ps.lxviii. belongs apparently to the age of David ; its charac- 
ter, and the occasion for which it was probably composed ; the writer knew 
the name Jehovah, but uses it rarely compared with Elohim, as if not 
familiar with it; identity between v.\ of this Psalm and N.x.35 ; proof that 
the Psalm was written fiist, and the words in Numbers copied from it, 
probably by an author of the same age ; the ' Song of Deborah ' composed 
in the prophetical schools ; identity between z'. 7,8, of the Psalm, and z'.4,5, 
of the Song ; proof that the Psalm again was written first, and the words 
of the Song copied from it ; Balaam's Prophecies incredible as history, possibly 
by the same author as Jacob's Blessing, written after David's conquests of 
Moab and Edom, before that of Ammon, and not long after Saul's overthrow 
of Agag and Amalek ; relative extent of the original story, the Deuterono- 
mistic matter, and the Levitical Legislation ; the history of Israel now 
becomes intelligible and instructive, as a history of human development. 


,N my last Lecture I read to you the final words of 
the Elohistic Narrative extracted from the Book 
of Exodus, the writer having apparently, perhaps 
by design or perhaps through some accident, 
brought his work to a close with the account of the revelation 
of the name of JEHOVAH or Yahveh to Moses. And I 
showed that this name was probably adopted by the idolatrous 
Israelites from the name by which the Sun-God was known 
and worshipped among the tribes of Canaan ; though it was 
gradually invested with a higher and holier meaning, as the 
name of the True and Living God, through the teaching of 
the great prophets of Israel mspired with Divine Wisdom and 
Truth. The Narrative, thus commenced, as we suppose, by 
Samuel, was carried on by his disciples, the framework of the 
story, as he left it, having been filled in by the labours of one 
or more of them, during the fifty years which followed after 
his death. These supplementary passages, however, though 
agreeing in style with each other, and differing entirely in this 
respect from the Elohistic Narrative, exhibit, as we saw, a 
noticeable variety in the use of the Divine Name. In some 
of them only Eloihm is used, as in the oldest matter, or 
Jehovah is used very sparhigly ; and, if these occurred only 


in Genesis, we might suppose that the writer was merely 
following the lead, so to speak, of his Master, and suppressing 
deliberately the use of JEHOVAH until the account of its 
revelation had been recorded in E. vi. But it is of great 
importance to observe that such passages are found in Exodus 
also, long after that account has been given.* The fact of 
their existence, therefore, requires some further explanation. 
The writer may have been influenced, when making his 
insertions in Genesis, by the example of his predecessor ; but 
still some reason peculiar to himself must have operated to 
account for his abstaining in so marked and unmistakable a 
manner from using freely the name JEHOVAH, when this name 
had been represented as fully revealed to Moses and Israel. 
It would seem as if he was not himself y^w///^r at first with 
the name, and used more naturally the older name Elohim ; 
as, of course, would be the case if, at the time when he wrote 
these passages, Jehovah or Yahveh had been only recently 
adopted, as the name of the National Deity of Israel, during 
the age of Saul and Samuel. Accordingly in the rest of this 
series Jehovah is employed much more frequently,^ and 
indeed so freely, that, when these were written, the name 
must certainly have been quite familiar both to the writer and 
the people. Such passages as these last may have been 
composed in the middle or latta' part of David's reign or 
during the early years of Solomon's, or even, as some suppose, 
in a still later age. 

And now let us consider for a moment what light is thrown 
upon this question by the Book of Psalms. These are 
popularly called, as we know, the Psalms of David ; and yet 
it is certain that very many of them were composed long 
after the Captivity,^ and that very few can have been written 
by the hand or in the age of David. There is one Psalm, 

* E.i. 17-22, iii, xiii. 17-19, xviii, xix. 16-19, xx. 18-21, xxiv.9-13. 
2 E.iv,v,&c. 3 e.g. Ps.lxxix, Ixxx. 


however, Ps. Ixviii, wliich undoubtedly appears to belong to 
that age. This Psalm is spoken of by different eminent 
critics as * one of the most able and powerful,' ^ as * the most 
spirited, hvely, and powerful,'^ as * the grandest, most splendid, 
most artistic,'^ in the wdiole collection, as 'one among the 
oldest relics of Hebrew poetry, of the highest originality,'' 
and its writer as one ' in whom we cannot but recognise a 
poet of remarkable genius ' ; ^ and one of them says, * The 
occasion, w^hich most immediately presents itself for this Psalm, 
is the removal of the ark by David to Mount Zion, and this 
is adopted by most of the ancient and later interpreters. It 
gives incontestably the best sense.'® This very writer, 
how^ever, with other able critics of the present day, himself 
assigns this Psalm to a far later date for certain reasons. But 
their arguments do not appear convincing ; ^ and, for myself 

* Olshausen, Fs.p.2^^. * HuPFELD, /If. III./. 1 99. 

« EwALD, Fs.p.2()'j. '' De Wette, quoted by IIupfeld, Fs.lll.p.201. 

8 HUPFELD, /'j-. III./. 196. 

^ The arguments alleged against the Davidic origin of Ps. Ixviii are as follows 
(KUENEN, Hist. Krit. 0nd.\\\.p.2^%) \-\y) In 7/.15-18 'the settlement of 
Jehovah on Zion is surely not described by a contemporary' — (ii) In v.2Z 
' mention is made of bringing back the captives who had been carried away E. 
and W. (Bashan and the Mediterranean Sea)'— (iii) In 77.29 'Jehovah's 
Palace (Heb.), i.e. the Temple, is mentioned '—(iv) In z/.29,3i,32, &c., 'the 
expectation of all mankind coming to worship on Zion could hardly have been 
entertained in David's time.' 

Ans. — (i) z/. 15-18 suits thoroughly the time of David, when Jehovah, after a 
series of conquests, came to 'dwell on the hill which Elohim desired to dwell 
in, yea, and would dwell on it for ever,' v. 16 ; (ii) v.2'1 speaks only of ' bringing 
back ' into the power of Israel for vengeance their /«^///z'^ enemies from all direc- 
tions, E. and W., comp. Am.ix.i-3, ' that their foot may be dipped in the blood 
of their enemies and the tongue of their dogs in the same,' z'.23, co7>ip. v. 21, 
and see 2S.viii. 1,2, xi.31 ; (iii) David's Tabernacle on Mount Zion was, doubtless, 
not a mere common tent, but an erection of some architectural pretensions, to 
which the Hebrew word might be well applied, as it is to the Sanctuary at Shiloh 
in iS.i.9, iii. 3 ; (iv) 2^.29,31,32, &c., refer rather to the princes of neighbouring 
countries, {e.g. Egypt and Ethiopia, ^'.31, M^ith which David was probably in 
amicable alliance, comp. iK.iii. I, as well as with Tyre, iK.v. i), showing respect 
and reverence for the triumphant God of Israel, by sending presents, v. 2^, for use 
in the Tabeniacle or in building the contemplated Temple, co?np. 2S.viii.i0, II, 
— not to their adopting Jehovah as their own National Deity. 


I am satisfied that, if any Psalm in the whole book belongs 
to the age of David, it is this noble Ps. Ixviii. ; and I believe 
that it was written — perhaps, but not necessarily, by David 
himself — for the occasion just mentioned, when he brought up 
with great pomp and solemnity the sacred ark to Mount 

Now observe the peculiar use of the Divine Name in this 
Ps. Ixviii. Four times Jehovah or Jah is used,^° and in 
V. 4 especially great stress is laid on this particular name. 

' Sing unto Elohim, sing praises to His Name ; 
His name is Jah, so rejoice before Him.' 

The writer then knew the name Jehovah ; and he has not 
suppressed it from superstitious motives, such as those which 

On the other hand, besides the points mentioned above in the text, it seems 
to be decisive against the post-Captivity date ascribed to this Psalm by Hupfeld, 
EwALD, KuENEN, LAND, &c., (i) that it has the phrases 'Sing unto Elohim,' 
V. 4,32, 'Bless ye Elohim,' 7^.26, 'Praise ye Adonai,' ^'.32, 'Blessed be 
Adonai,' 77.18, 'Blessed be Elohim, 2/, 35, instead of ' Hallelu-jAH,' 'Praise 
ye Jehovah,' which would certainly have been found in a very late Psalm of this 
character, especially at the end, as in Ps.civ.-cvi, cxiii, cxv, cxvi, cxxxv, cxlvi-cl, 
whereas four of these expressions occur nowhere else in the Bible, and the last 
only besides in Ps.lxvi.20, and (ii) that it nowhere mentions the Priests and the 
Levites, who would almost certainly have been named, especially the latter, in 
a post-Captivity Psalm, as present on such an occasion, comp. 2Ch.v. 12, in- 
stead of whom we read ' before went the singers, behind were the players, in the 
midst of the damsels timbrelling,' v. 2.^. 

The mention of 'little Benjamin their ruler,' in v.2'j is hardly intelligible after 
the Captivity, but suits well the time when Benjamin, which as Saul's tribe, had 
only just ceased to be, under Saul and his son Ishbosheth, the royal tribe in 
Israel, had now submitted itself to David, but is spoken of here, in a politic 
manner, as being of princely dignity. And the mention of four tribes only in 
v.2'j, 'Benjamin and Judah,' ' Zebulon and Naphtali,' as representatives of all 
Israel, is also explained by the fact that in David's time the latter two were the 
chief N'orthern^ as the former two were the chief Southern, tribes, who came 
lip heartily— represented by their chiefs— to take part in the ceremony of installing 
the ark ; whereas the great tribe of Ephraim, which lay between, was in all prob- 
ability not at all enthusiastic in support of this new project of David, of making 
Jerusalem the seat of religious influence, as well as of government, for the whole 
land, to the depreciation of its own famous Sanctuary at Bethel, and expressed at 
last its long-smothered dissatisfaction at this centralizing system in Jeroboam's 
words, ' Ye have had enough of going up to Jerusalem,' 1K.xii.28. See further 
in /I?;//. II. 405-42 1, 

'» Jah, z'.4, 18, Jehovah, 7-. 16,20. 


are known to have prevailed in a very late age with regard to 
the utterance of this sacred name. Yet he mentions it only 
four times, while thirty-one times he uses Elohim and scvc7i 
times also Adonai, ' Lord,' corresponding to the title of the Sun- 
God, Adonis. It would seem that Jehovah, though already 
adopted as the name of the National Deity of Israel, was not 
yet familiar in the mouth either of the writer or of the people 
at the time when this Psalm was composed, that is, at the 
time when the ark was brought up to Mount Zion, in the 
fourteenth year of David's reign, about eighteen years after 
the death of Samuel. 

And now listen to the words with which the Psalm 
begins : — 

' Let Elohim arise, let His enemies be scattered, 
And let them, that hate Him, flee before Him ! ' 

And compare them with those which are represented in the 
Pentateuch as uttered by Moses at each movement of the ark 
hi the wilderness : — 

* Arise, Jehovah, and let Thine enemies be scattered. 
And let them, that hate Thee, flee before Thee ! ' " 

It is plain that one of these two passages must have been 
copied from the other — that the writer of one of them must 
have had the other before him or in his memory when he 
wrote his own words. Which, then, was the older of these 
two passages } We observe that in the Psalm Elohim is 
used where in the other passage stands JEHOVAH. Now it is 
incredible that the Psalmist, if he had before him the story of 
the Exodus, of venerable antiquity, at all events, and having 
at least Mosaic, if not Divine, authority, would have presumed 
to substitute the common name ELOHIM, which might stand 
for any heathen deity, in place of the sacred name JEHOVAH, 
the personal name of the God of Israel, which had been 
actually used by Moses himself in the formula here supposed 

•* N.X.35. 


to be copied, and used repeatedly, whenever the Camp was 
moved in the wilderness — more especially as it would have 
been the very name required in this Psalm, composed for so 
grand an occasion. Whereas it would be very natural that 
such words as these, if really first used at this memorable 
time, when the ark was removed ' with shouting and trumpet- 
sounds ' by * David and all the House of Israel ' from the 
place where it had been long laid aside, and brought up to 
' the Tent that David had pitched for it,' ^^ should have been 
afterwards adopted by a writer of that age with the change of 
Elohim into Jehovah, and inserted in the story of the 
Exodus as fitting words to announce each removal of the ark 
in the wilderness. But it is plain that they can never have 
been so used in reality — that they have been introduced into 
the Pentateuch by a mere poetical fiction : and, in point of 
fact, as the story now stands, they would not have been fitting 
words to have been employed on such occasions, since there 
was no fighting during those marches in the wilderness, no 
' enemies ' of Jehovah and Israel to be ' scattered ' before the 
ark during those forty years of dreary wandering. But in 
this Psalm they stand quite in their place, being closely 
connected also with the words that follow ; their martial tone 
suits well with David's time when he had had wars on every 
side, and when, perhaps, the ark itself, as the symbol of the 
Divine Presence, was at times carried forth at the head of his 
armies, ^^ — 

' Let Elohim arise, let His enemies be scattered, 
And let all, that hate Him, flee before Him ! 
As smoke is driven away, so drive Thou them away j 
As wax melteth before the fire, 
So perish the wicked before Elohim. 
But let the righteous be glad and exult before Elohim ; 
Yea, let them rejoice with gladness.' ^* 

And now let us consider a very similar phenomenon presen- 
ted in the Song of Deborah.^^ This noble poem is evidently 
*2 19. '^ 2S.X1 II. " rs.lxviii. 1-3. '^ Ju.v. 


one of the 'Lays of Ancient Israel,' that is to say, it is an 
artistic composition, written by one who has thrown himself 
heartily into the spirit of the times portrayed in it, but who 
lived long after the events to which it refers — as, in fact, is 
plainly indicated by the statement that ' on that day Deborah 
and Barak the son of Abinoam sang this Song ' togcther,^^ 
whether this be understood of the joint utterance or the joint 
authorsJiip of it. If, indeed, such a splendid composition had 
really been produced in so rude and primitive an age, and 
had been handed down either in writing or in memory from 
that time, it would be reasonable to expect that we should 
find some remains of other like poems wTitten in the same 
powerful style, and commemorating other great events of the 
same or subsequent ages. It is, no doubt, of very ancient 
date comparatively, that is, with reference to the oldest portions 
of the Bible ; and it may very probably have been written in 
the prophetical schools, where the older portions of the Book 
of Judges were composed, in the same age which gave birth 
to those other very spirited poems which occur in the Penta- 
teuch — in short, in that golden age of Hebrew Literature to 
which we owe the poetry of the ' Blessing of Jacob,' ^^ the 
Song of Moses,' ^^ and the * Prophecies of Balaam.'^^ 
Listen now to the following passage from this Song : — 

' Jehovah, at Thy going forth from Seir, 
At Thy marching from the field of Edom, 
The earth trembled, the heavens also dropped, 
The clouds also dropped with water. 
Before Jehovah the mountains melted, 
That Sinai before Jehovah the Elohim of Israel.' ^o 

And compare the following words from Ps. Ixviii : — 

* Elohim, at Thy going forth before Thy people, 
At Thy marching in the wilderness, 
The earth trembled, the heavens too dropped, 
Before Elohim, 
That Sinai before Elohim the Elohim of Israel.' 2> 

'" 7'.i. '^ G.xlix.i-26. '" E.xv.i i8» 

»" N.xxiii, xxiv. -" Ju.v.4,5. '"' I's, Ixviii. 7,8. 


Here, too, it cannot be doubted that the one passage has been 
directly imitated from the other. Which, again, was the 
oldest ? I answer, the Psalm undoubtedly, for these reasons. 
In the Psalm the statement stands in close connexion with 
the following context, introducing very naturally the account 
of the benefits bestowed upon Israel in the wilderness,^^ and 
itself also very naturally introduced by the preceding con- 
text ; 2^ whereas in the Song the corresponding passage enters 
abruptly, as if derived from another source, there being not 
the slightest connexion between it and the verses which pre- 
cede and follow it. Again, in the Song there is an appearance 
of an expansion of the words of the Psalm : thus ' from Seir, 
from the field of Edom ' in the Song seems equivalent to the 
simple words ' In the wilderness ' of the Psalmist ; and so, too, 
the phrases ' the heavens also dropped, the clouds also dropped 
water,' * the mountains melted,' are mere amplifications of the 
older language, ' the heavens also dropped ' and ' that Sinai.' 
Moreover, 'the clouds also dropped with water' is but a 
feeble repetition of ' the heavens also dropped ' ; and the 
reference to ' Seir ' and ' Edom * in the Song is an incorrect 
substitute for ' the wilderness ' of the Psalm, since the whole 
description evidently refers to the portents at Sinai,^'' long 
before the Israelites reached the Edomite territory, "-^^ but while 
Jehovah still ' went before His people' as they * marched in 
the wilderness.^^ Above all, as before, it is most unlikely 
that any writer would have changed 'JEHOVAH the Elohim 
of Israel ' of the Song into the tamer expression of the Psalm, 

* Elohim the Elohim of Israel,* more especially as the writer 
of the Psalm has not suppressed the name JEHOVAH 
altogether ; whereas it would be most natural for one who 
was imitating an older composition to change * Elohim' into 

* Jehovah ' in such a connexion, if ' Jehovah ' had become 

" z'.g-ii. 23 ^_^ 5 .M E.xix. 16-19, xx.i8. 

2^ N. XX. 14-21. -6 E.xiii. 20-22. 


familiar in men's mouths as the name of the * Elohim of 
Israel,' which apparently was not the case when the Psalm 
was written. Once more, it seems incredible that * a poet of 
remarkable genius,' the writer of a Psalm described as * the 
most spirited, lively, and powerful,' * the grandest, most 
splendid, most artistic,' ' one of the most beautiful and most 
original! of the whole collection, should have borrowed two 
little scraps from two other ancient documents, one of them 
certainly not Mosaic. And, on the other hand, what could 
be more natural than that words of this Psalm, composed for 
so memorable an occasion and fresh in the recollection of the 
writers, should have been used by them in N. x. 35 and Ju. v, 
as appears from the quotations I have made, as well as from 
other minor resemblances which have been pointed out by 
critics t ^^ 

We conclude, then, that this portion of the Book of 
Numbers ^^ was written after the fourteenth year of David's 
reign, when the ark was brought up to Mount Zion. Let 
us now consider the Prophecies of Balaam.'*^ From our 
point of view we are not troubled here with the strange 
occurrence of the ass conversing as a human being with 
Balaam, who, however, retained his composure and replied 
calmly without any signs of dismay or astonishment, though 
no part of the conversation was heard by his servants or 
the princes of Moab who travelled in his company, — or 
with the fact that the angel was seen by Balaam and the 
ass, and spoke with Balaam, but, as before, was neither 
seen nor heard by his companions — or by the circumstance 
that Balaam must be supposed to have uttered his pro- 
phecies, on the impulse of the moment in prophetic rapture, 
in the ears — not of Moses and Israel, but of Balak king of 
Moab and his princes, and Moses to have secured somehow a 

2' comp. Ju.v.3 with Ps.lxviii.4, Ju.v. 12 with Ps.lxviii.i8. 
'^« N.X.35. 


manuscript of them — or by the strange phenomenon that 
these prophecies are found to be written in the purest Hebrew, 
though Balaam was not of Hebrew birth, but summoned by 
Balak from his native land on the banks of the Euphrates,^^ — 
or by his employing the name JEHOVAH repeatedly, and even 
saying 'JEHOVAH is my Elohim,'^^ and using in his utterances 
the identical language of the dying Jacob in the Book of 
Genesis, as where Jacob says in his blessing on Judah — 

' He stooped, he crouched as a Hon, 
Even as a lioness — who shall rouse him ? ' ^' 

and Balaam says, speaking of Israel— 

' He stooped, he lay-down as a lion, 
Even as a lioness — who shall rouse him ? ' ^^ 

Is it possible that Jacob's Blessing and Balaam's Prophcci'es 
may be the work of one and the selfsame hand ? 

I showed on a former occasion,^^ by considering especially the 
Blessing on Judah, that the Blessing of Jacob was probably 
written in the midst of David's conquests, about the twelfth 
year of his reign. Listen now to these words out of Balaam's 
final prophecy : — 

' I see him, but not now, 
I behold him, but not near. 
A Star has appeared out of Jacob, 
And a Sceptre has arisen out of Israel, 
And has smitten the temples of Moab, 
And the crown of the head of all the sons of pride. 
And Edom shall be a possession — 
Yea, Seir shall be a possession — his enemies' : 
But Israel shall be gaining force. '^* 

Here Is plainly announced, in the form of a prophecy, the 
conquest by Israel of Moab and Edom ; and ' it is not- 
possible to see in the illustrious king, from whom this 
picture is borrowed, any later one than David,' ^•'^ who smote 

29 N.xxii.5, see^.C.I./.734. 30N.xxii.i8. =*• G.xlix.9. ^2 j^^xiv.9. 
s''/-62-67. 34 N.xxiv.17,18. 35 EwALD. (//;>A 0/ Israel), Eng.Ed.I./. 108. 


both Moab and Edom, as no other king did, Moab first 
and Edom afterwards, as here predicted. * He smote Moab 
and measured them with a Hne, casting them down to the 
ground ; even with two Hnes measured he to put to death, 
and with one full line to keep alive* — massacring, there- 
fore, in cold blood two out of three of all his male (?) 
Moabite captives ; * and so the Moabites became David's 
servants and brought gifts.'^^ And he ' put garrisons in 
Edom ; throughout all Edom put he garrisons ; and all 
they of Edom became David's servants ;'^^ though after- 
wards apparently, perhaps on some revolt, ' Joab went up 
to bury the slain' of Israel, after he had slain every male 
in Edom ; for * six months did Joab remain there with all 
Israel, until he had cut off every male in Edom.'^^ But 
David smote also in an equally memorable manner the 
people of Ammon. 'And David gathered all the people 
together, and went to Rabbah the royal city, and fought 
against it. And he brought forth the people that were 
therein, and put them under saws and under harrows of 
iron and under axes of iron, and made them pass through 
(the brick-kiln, or rather, as it should probably be rendered, 
made them pass over, i.e. in the fire) to Molech ; ' in other 
words, David sawed asunder, and tore with harrows, and 
chopped with axes, and burnt alive, his Ammonite captives 
out of Rabbah ; * and thus did he unto all the cities of the 
children of Ammon.' ^^ Now Edom, Moab, and Ammon 
are continually named together in the Bible, and Moab and 
Ammon are coupled almost invariably."*^ And therefore it 

36 2S.viii.2. " 2S.viii. 14. 

38 iK.xi.15,16. 3» 2S.xii.31. 

<» 'Edom, Moab, and Ammon,' D.ii.4,9, 19, xxiii.3,7, 1S.xiv.47, iK.xi. I, 
iCh.xviii.ii, 2Ch. XX. 10,22,23, Ps.lxxxiii.6,7, Is.xi. 14, Jer.ix.26, xxv.21, xxvii.3, 
xl.ii, xlviii. l-xlix.22, Ez.xxv.l-14, Dan.xi.41, Am.i. ii-ii.3, co??tp. 'Moab 
and Ammon,' G.xix. 37,38, Ju.iii. 12,13, x.6, xi. 15, 2S.viii. 12, iK.xi.7,33, 
2K.xxiii.13, xxiv.2, 2Cli.xx.i,xxiv.26, Ezr.ix. I, Neh.xiii. 1,23, Zcpli.ii.8,9. 


is most unlikely that any writer, whether predicting before- 
hand, as the traditionary view supposes, or recounting 
afterwards, the triumphs of David's reign, should have 
mentioned only the conquest of Moab and that of Edom 
and said nothing whatever about the conquest of Amnion. 
It would seem that this prophecy must have been written 
in the interval of five or six years between the conquests 
of Moab and Edom and that of Amnion, at a time when 
the reigning king of Ammon was on very friendly terms 
with David.'*^ We are thus brought to the very same date 
exactly for Balaam's Prophecies as for the Blessing of 
Jacob, viz., about the twelfth year of David's reign in the 
midst of his conquests, when the 'lion's whelp' had *gone- 
up from the prey ' and had ' crouched ' again for a time, and 
' who should rouse him ? ' ^'^ 

There are other indications of the same age in other 
parts of Balaam's Prophecies, as, for instance, in the words 
which say that Israel's king 'shall be higher than Agag,'''^ 
which must have been written at a time when the power of 
Agag, king of Amalek, was still fresh in the recollection of 
the Hebrew people or, at all events, had not yet passed out 
of the popular talk. In other words, these prophecies 
must have been composed not long after the time when Saul 
'utterly destroyed' the Amalekites, and Samuel 'hewed 
Agag in pieces before Jehovah at the Gilgal,'^-* that is, they 
were written in the early part of David's reign. In short, 
as I have said, no sign of time has yet been traced in all 
the Jehovistic matter to the end of the Book of Joshua, 
which carries the age of its writer or writers certainly 
below the first years of Solomon's reign.^^ 

But, after all, these Jehovistic amplifications of the 
more ancient Elohistic Narrative with that Narrative it- 

«' 2S,x.2. -"^ G.xlix.9. '=> N.xxiv.7. 

" iS.xv.8,33. "•v-sz. 


self, which together we may call the Older or Original 
Story of the Exodus, make up less than one-half of 
the whole work, as it now lies before us, to the end of 
Joshua. More than one-half, therefore, still remains to be 
accounted for ; and of this about as much as the Elohistic 
matter belongs to the Deuteronomist, and about as much 
as the Jehovistic matter belongs to the Levitical Legislation. 

I shall speak more fully hereafter about these two sets of 
passages. For the present I confine myself to a few closing 
remarks upon the general results of these criticisms. We 
now find that Israel was under Divine Teaching just exactly 
as we are. We are now able to observe in Israel, as in 
other nations, the signs of growth and orderly progress, 
the people making gradual advancement in religious truth 
and moral perception, under the teaching of those great 
men whom the Spirit of God enlightened and quickened, 
and whom His Providence raised up among them from time 
to time, for this end first, but with a further view to the 
education of the race, even of us among the rest. Their 
history now becomes rational and intelligible, being stripped 
— not of all that is supernatural or Divine, but — of all that 
is portentous, perplexing, and contradictory. It will no 
longer be full of marvels and prodigies, painfully stagger- 
ing to an intelligent faith — as where Elisha by a word 
makes the iron axe-head float, ""^ or his bones revive a dead 
man,'*^ or where the Jordan, when overflowing all its banks, 
is suddenly stopped in its course, its waters 'rising up in 
a heap' till Israel had crossed its bed on dry land^^ — and 
these wonders being profusely lavished on a favoured people 
or individual, and performed oftentimes, as it seems to our 
reason, the guiding light which God has given us, without 
any adequate object or proportionate result, as where the 

*« '' 2K.xiii.21. « J.iii. 15-17. 



ass reproves Balaam with human voice '^^ or the whale 
swallows Jonah/^° It is surely strengthening and comforting 
to know that God, our God, is amongst us still, as He was of 
old, speaking to us by His Spirit in our hearts and 
consciences with that still small voice which is mightier 
far and more effective than any thunders of Sinai could 
be. Let us bless God that we live in an age when the 
mist has been cleared away which hid from those who 
lived before us the true history of Israel, and made the 
Bible to many thoughtful and devout persons a stone of 
stumbling and a rock of offence — ay, which veiled from us 
the face of our Heavenly Father, and darkened the teaching 
of the Gospel of Christ. 

" N.xxii. 28-30. *" Jon. i. 17, ii. 10. 




The Ten Commandments in E.xx, inserted by the Deuteronomist ; the 
New Commentaiy admits that these differ ' in several weighty particulars ' 
from those in D.v, and that neither copy represents correctly those actually 
uttered by Jehovah on Sinai ; fallacious view of the Commentary on this 
point ; no room for the Decalogue in the Original Story ; the context quoted, 
and shown to be an early portion of the Jehovistic matter ; it contains no 
sign of the utterance of the Ten Commandments ; a series of very different 
commands received by Moses in the Original Story, and made the basis 
of the Covenant between Jehovah and Israel ; the points of resemblance 
between the two series show that the Decalogue did not exist in the Original 
Story ; the Book of the Covenant belongs to a nide and primitive age ; 
Its barbarous slave-laws ; impiety of our ascribing these to the Deity ; fallacious 
view of the New Commentaiy on this point ; these laws composed for a 
settled agricultural people, as in the time of Saul ; perhaps a transcript of 
the ' manner ' or common-law of the kingdom, as administered by Samuel 
and^ ' written in a book ' by him for Saul ; the comfort of being released from 
the moral difficulty of believing that such laws ever had Divine authority. 


HAVE already mentioned the Deuteronomist ^ as 
the writer of some portions of the story of the 
Exodus, as it now stands, from Genesis to Joshua. 
Among these, of course, is the Book of Deuter- 
onomy itself, or the greatest part of it, which is written in a 
totally different style from any passages of the Original Story, 
and about which I shall hereafter give you some further in- 
formation. The most important, however, of all the Deuter- 
onomistic insertions is not the Book of Deuteronomy itself, 
however interesting and instructive that is in many respects, 
but the Decalogue or Ten Commandments in E.xx. The 
New Bible Commentary admits that these, as we now read 
them, recorded first in Exodus^ and repeated in Deuter- 
onomy,^ but in forms ' differing from each other in several 
weighty particulars,' ^ cannot be in either form a genuine copy 
of the * Ten Words,' as, according to the traditionary view, 
they were spoken by the Divine Voice on Sinai. The writer 
suggests that the Ten Commandments were originally uttered 
all in the same terse form as those which now remain, ' Thou 
shalt not kill,' * Thou shalt not steal,' &c., and were afterwards 
— those sacred words, supposed to have been formulated by 

> /.97. 

Ex.xx. 1-17. 

=• D.v.6,21 

^ B.C.l.p.ii^. 


Infinite Wisdom and delivered with solemn emphasis in the 
ears of all Israel ' out of the midst of the fire, of the cloud, 
and of the thick darkness, with a great voice ' * — considerably 
amplified by Moses,^ a supposition which is, of course, entirely 
subversive of the usual traditionary notion. Thus, for in- 
stance, the Fourth Commandment, as uttered by Jehovah 
on Sinai, was merely the brief injunction, * Remember the 
sabbath-day to sanctify it' It was Moses who added the 
further details, ' Six days shalt thou labour and do all thy 
work : but the seventh day is the sabbath of Jehovah thy 
Elohim ; thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor 
thy daughter, thy manservant nor thy maidservant, nor thy 
cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates ; ' and this ad- 
dition appears — but with some variation ' — in both forms of 
the Decalogue. But in Exodus he has given this as the 
reason for keeping the sabbath — * For in six days Jehovah 
made heaven and earth, the sea and all that in them is, and 
rested the seventh day ; tJiercfore Jehovah blessed the 
seventh day and sanctified it ; ' whereas in Deuteronomy he 
has given a totally different reason for observing it — * And 
remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and 
that Jehovah thy Elohim brought thee forth from thence 
through a mighty hand and a stretched-out arm ; therefore 
Jehovah thy Elohim commanded thee to keep the sabbath- 
day.' And similar additions are on this view supposed to 
have been made by Moses to the second, third, fifth, and tenth 
Commandments, as originally spoken by JEHOVAH. It is un- 
fortunate for this theory that even, in their reduced forms, 
consisting only of a few words, the two copies of the Fourth 
Commandment are not identical ; since in Ex®dus we read 

* D.V.22. « ^.(7. 1./. 336. 

' D.iv. 14, has ' nor thine ox, nor thine ass ' instead of ' nor thy cattle ' of E.xx. 
10, and adds at the end ' that thy manservant and thy maidservant may rest as 
well as thou, ' 


* Remember the sabbath-day to sanctify it,'® and in Deuter- 
onomy, ' Observe the sabbath-day to sanctify it ; '^ so that the 
words of the Commentary, written with reference to the longer 
statement, apply also to the shorter statement of these Com- 
mandments — *■ Each is said, with reiterated emphasis, to con- 
tain the words that were actually spoken by the Lord and 
written by him upon the stones. ... It has been generally 
assumed that the whole of one or other of these copies was 
written on the Tables. Most commentators have supposed 
that the original document is in Exodus, and that the author 
of Deuteronomy wrote from memory, with variations suggested 
at the time. Others have conceived that Deuteronomy must 
furnish the more correct form, since the Tables must have 
been in actual existence when the Book was written. But 
neither of these views can be fairly reconciled with the state- 
ments in Exodus and Deuteronomy, to which reference has 
been made. If either copy, as a whole, represents what was 
written on the Tables, it is obvious that the other cannot do 
so.' 10 

But, when you have heard the Jehovistic matter extracted 
by itself from E.xix,xx, as you heard before the Elohistic 
matter in E.i-vi,^^ you will see that there is no room whatever 
for the Ten Commandments in the Original Story of the 
Exodus. For this is how that story ran : — 

' And it came to pass on the third day, when it was morn- 
ing, that there were voices (or thunderings) and lightnings, 
and a thick cloud upon the Mount, and the sound of a trumpet 
very loud ; and all the people trembled that were in the 
Camp. And Moses brought forth the people to meet Eloh i m 
out of the Camp, and they took their stand underneath the 
Mount. And Mount Sinai was all of it smoke, because 
Jehovah had comedown upon it in fire ; and its smoke went 

« E.xx.S. ° D.V.12. '" ^. C.I./. 335-6. "/.72,73- 


up as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole Mount trembled 
greatly. And the trumpet-sound kept going very much 
louder and louder : Moses spake, and Elohim answered him 
by a voice (or thunderings). And all the people were seeing 
the voices and the flashes and the trumpet-sound and the 
Mountain smoking ; and, when the people saw, they shrank 
back and stood at a distance. And they said to Moses, 
" Speak thou with us, and we will hear ; but let not Elohim 
speak with us, lest we die." And Moses said unto the people, 
" Fear ye not ; for Elohim hath come that He may prove you 
and that His fear maybe before you that ye sin not." So the 
people stood at a distance, and Moses drew near unto the 
thick darkness where Elohim was.' ^^ 

You will have observed in this short passage five times 
Elohim and only once Jehovah ; in other words, it is one 
of the earlier additions to the Elohistic Narrative, when, as we 
suppose,^^ tj^g vvriter had not yet come to use very freely the 
name Jehovah. It is this passage evidently which is referred 
to in those verses of Ps.lxviii which I quoted in my last 
Lecture — 

' Elohim, at Thy going forth before Thy people, 
At Thy marching in the wilderness, 
The earth trembled, the heavens also dropped, 
Before Elohim, 
That Sinai before Elohim, the Elohim of Israel' j" 

where allusion is made to *the whole mountain quaking 
greatly,' ^^ and to the heavy rain-storm which might naturally 
be supposed to accompany the ^ thunderings and lightnings.' ^® 
This portion, therefore, of the Original Story must have been 
already in existence at the time when Ps.lxviii was composed, 
and was in the hands, most probably, of the same circle of 
prophetical writers from which the Psalm itself proceeded. 

»2 E.xix. 16-19, XX. 18-21. '/.85,90. ■• Ps.lxviii. 7,8. 

'» E.xix.18. " E.xix.i6, XX.18. 


But where now, in this passage of the Original Story, are 
the Ten Commandments ? Or where is there any room for 
them ? In the account, which we have now before us in the 
Bible, they are inserted just before the words ' and all the 
people were seeing the voices and flashes and the trumpet- 
sound and the mountain smoking ; ' where reference is clearly 
made to the previous statement that, * when it was morning, 
there were voices and lightnings and a thick cloud upon the 
mount and the sound of a trumpet very loud, and Mount 
Sinai was all of it smoke, because JEHOVAH had come down 
upon it in fire.' ^^ The people, we are told, were appalled by 
the mighty thunderings, the terrific flashes of lightning, the 
awful trumpet-sounds, and the thick smoke that covered the 
quaking mount and * went up like the smoke of a furnace.' ^^ 
But not a word is said about their having heard a tremendous 
Voice, uttering audibly the Ten Commandments. Rather, it 
is plainly implied that they had not heard any such utterances ; 
for they entreat Moses saying, ' Speak thou with us and we 
will hear ; but let not Elohim speak with us, lest we die.' ^^ 
And so Moses alone draws near to Elohim,^^ and receives a 
long series of commands of a totally different character, ^^ 
which he afterwards communicates to the people, and on 
the basis of which, not upon that of the Ten Command- 
ments, a Covenant is solemnly made between Jehovah and 

Moses received, I say, on this occasion 'a long series of 
commands of a totally different character' from the Ten 
Commandments. Yet some of them are not unlike, as, 
for instance, the very first injunction, 'Thou shalt not make 
with Me Elohim of silver and ye shall not make you 
Elohim of gold.' ^^ But then how tame would this be if 
the Divine Voice had been represented as having already 

" E.xix.i6,i8, '8 E.XX.18. '» E.XX.19. 20 E.XX.21. 

ei E.XX.22, &c. " E.xxiv.3-8. 23 E.XX.23. 


uttered in the ears of all Israel the Second Commandment 
with all its details, * Thou shalt not make for thyself any- 
graven image,' &c. ? ^^ In like manner the words * Six days 
shalt thou do thy work, and on the seventh day thou shalt 
rest, that so thine ox and thine ass may repose, and the son 
of thy handmaid and the sojourner may be refreshed,' ^^ would 
have been quite superfluous, if the Fourth Commandment, with 
its much more precise and full directions, had been previously 
published. Again, the words, ' Elohim shalt thou not revile, 
and the prince among thy people shalt thou not curse,' ^^ 
correspond in some sense with the language of the Third 
Commandment, and ' he that curseth his father or his mother 
shall surely be put to death,' ^7 with that of the Fifth ; and so 
in other instances. But there is no ground for supposing that 
these laws are only an expansion and explanation, or a re- 
peated enforcement, of the Ten Commandments ; for these 
last are more full than the others, and are perfectly clear, 
and need no enlargement or explanation ; and surely a pri- 
vate communication to Moses can hardly be thought of as 
* enforcing ' commands represented as having been uttered by 
God Himself, with awful power and majesty, in the hearing 
of all the people. 

In short, it will be seen at once that these laws in 
E.xxi-xxiii are, as a whole, altogether different in tone and 
character from the Ten Commandments. They contain, for 
instance, a number of details as to matters connected with 
worship or with social and private life, which betray unmis- 
takably the signs of a rude and primitive age. Thus we 
read ' An altar of earth shall ye make for Me ; and thou shalt 
sacrifice upon it thy burnt-offerings and thy peace-offerings, 
thy sheep and thy oxen ; and, if thou shalt make for me an 
altar of stones, thou shalt not build them of hewn stones ; if 

=^* E. XX. 4-6. " E.xxiii.i2. •« E.xxii.28. 27 E.xxi.17. 


thou hast waved thy tool upon it, then shalt thou defile it' ^^ 
And here we find ourselves in an age when the first rude 
altars of earth or rough stones were made on high-places in 
all parts of the land, at Mizpah,^^ at Ramah,^^ at Bethel,^! ^^ 
the Gilgal,^^ and were allowed or even encouraged by these 
laws to be made, * in every place where I record My name 
I will come unto thee and I will bless thee,' ^^ before any 
splendid Temple had been built with its one brazen altar,^^ 
upon which all sacrifices were to be offered, ' in the place 
which Jehovah had chosen,' ^^ — in other words, before the time 
of Solomon or even of David's Tabernacle on Mount Zion, 
where probably stood also a more elaborate altar than was 
allowed by these ordinances.^^ 

But we find here other laws ascribed to Jehovah, which, so 
long as they are believed to have Divine authority, might be 
justly appealed to, and no doubt have been appealed to, as 
sanctioning the worst evils of slavery. * When a man shall 
smite his servant or his handmaid with a rod and he die under 
his hand, he shall certainly be punished. Only, if he shall 
stand a day or two days, he shall not be punished ; for he is 
his money.' " Let us thank God that we are no longer 
required to ascribe to the Most Holy and Merciful Creator, 
'the God of the spirits of all flesh,' ^^ our Heavenly Father, 
this horrible command, which an orthodox German commen- 
tator very honestly explains as follows : — ' Through his 
remaining in life, if only for one or two days [N.B. however 
mangled or maimed], it became evident that the master did 
not wish to kill him ; if, however, after this he died, the loss 
of the slave was pimisJiment enough for his master' ^^ And, 
strange to say, the same language is repeated in the New 
Bible Commentary—' The master was permitted to retain the 

28 E.XX.24,25. ''9 lS.vii.5,9. "» lS.vii.i7. 

3> IS.X.3. '2 lS.xi.i5. 3S E.XX.24. 

" 1K.ix.25. « D.xii.5,6. ^« iK.i. 50,51, 53,ii.28,29. 

8' E.xxi.20,2i. " N.xvi.22,xxvii.6. ^o Keil,I./.472. 


power of chastising his slave with a rod ; but the indulgence 
of unbridled temper was so far kept in check by his incurring 
punishment if the slave died under his hand. If, however, the 
slave survived the castigation a day or two, it was assumed 
that the offence of the master had not been so heinous, and he 
did not become amenable to the law, because the loss of the 
slave, who by old custom was recognized as his property, was 
accoiDitcd, luider the circumstances, as a punishment!^^ Why, 
what could a Legree have wished more than this, except the 
addition of the previous command, * If his master have given 
him a wife and she have borne him sons or daughters, the 
wife and her children shall be her master's, and he shall go 
out by himself''^ — 'go out,' either 'free for nothing/ as this 
law prescribes,"*^ after six years' service, or else, I suppose, ' go 
out free ' by death, even death under a brutal castigation, * if 
he shall stand a day or two' — which, says the same candid 
German writer, ' may appear hard, but it was rightly grounded 
in the nature of slavery. In order, hov/ever, to soften the 
hardship of separation from wife or children, it is allowed to 
the slave to remain in the service of his master, provided he 
will for ever renounce his freedom.'"*^ In other words, the 
poor wretch — a Hebrew slave — is here tempted to buy his 
own freedom by abandoning his wife and children } Slaves 
they were already — and so a Hebrew might sell his own 
daughter into slavery by another of these laws ^^ — and slaves 
they are to remain ; they have only been bred, it seems, for 
the master's use. But they will be deprived of the little com- 
fort of living together, unless the husband and the father will 
consent to become a slave for ever ! ^^ And the New Bible 
Commentary says — * The protection here afforded to the life 
of a slave may seem to us but a slight one. But it is the very 
earliest trace of such protection in legislation, and it stands in 

^'^ i5.C.L/.345. 

<• E.xxi.4. 

« E.xxi.2. 

" Keil,I./.469. 

" E.xxi,;. 

** E.xxi.5,6. 


strong and favourable contrast with the old laws of Greece, 
Rome, and other nations. These regulations were most 
likely as much as was feasible at the time, to mitigate the 
cruelty of ancient practice ; they were as much as the hard- 
ness of the hearts of the people would bear.'''^ Such remarks 
might be just if these laws were merely Mosaic laws, that is, 
laws adopted or originated by Moses and ascribed by him to 
the Deity. But to say that the Divine Being ever really 
sanctioned or enforced, much less originated, such laws as 
these — that for the Great God, the * Faithful Creator,' ^'^ this 
was * as much as was feasible at the time,' that He could not 
do more in the cause of humanity * because of the hardness of 
heart' of his chosen people — is simply to blaspheme the Holy 
Name of our Father in Heaven. Even the text appealed to 
says, * Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered 
you to put away your wives.' ''^ Verily, those of the clergy, of 
all ranks and denominations, will have much to answer for, 
who will shut their eyes obstinately to the light of Modern 
Criticism, and allow their flocks still to believe that the slave- 
holder may draw support for his practices from the actual 
utterances of the Living God. Either these words are God's, 
as the Bible says,"*^ or they are not. Let us not any longer 
blink the question, but tell the plain truth to our people, and 
trust God with the consequences. 

I have said that these laws show signs of having been 
vvritten in a rude and primitive age, and, I may add, for an 
agricultural people. ' They imply that the people of Israel 
were not only settled in Palestine, but were in peaceful and 
undisturbed possession of the land. They betray not a trace 
of the disturbance of the conquest and the struggle for 
possession, but rather are employed in giving careful prescrip- 
tions for the moral and judicial cases likely to occur among a 

« B.C.l.p.Ty^'b. " I Pet. iv. 19. 

" Mt.xix.8, Mk.x.3-5. *» E.xx.22,xxi.i,xxiv.3,4,7,8, 


people employed in agriculture and living in regular inter- 
course with themselves and with strangers. That others also, 
besides Israelites, possessed fields or vineyards or olive- 
gardens, is nowhere implied: rather a humane and mild 
treatment of non-Israelites remaining in the land is enjoined,''^ 
just in the same way as that of widows and orphans.'^^ This 
remark hardly allows us, even if we regard this law-book as 
the oldest handed down in the Pentateuch, to carry back its 
composition to the time of the Judges ; it seems rather to 
belong to the time of the Kings.' '^^ 

Rather, it seems to belong to the time of the first king, 
Saul. We read that, when Saul was made king, * Samuel 
told the people the manner of the kingdom^ and wrote it in a 
book, and laid it up before JEHOVAH.' ^^ What was this 
* manner or custom of the kingdom ' which Samuel * told the 
people ' } Apparently it was the system by which they were 
to be ruled under Saul, — the common-law, as it w^ere, which he 
himself had hitherto administered in his yearly circuits to 
judge the people ; for as we are told, * Samuel judged Israel 
all the days of his life ; and he went from year to year in 
circuit to Bethel and the Gilgal and Mizpah, and judged 
Israel in all those places ; and his return was to Ramah, for 
there was his house, and there he built an altar unto Jeho- 
vah.'^'' The phrase used repeatedly in these laws with 
reference to a dispute or trespass, ' bring unto Elohim, 
'come unto Elohim,' ^^ implies just such an age as this, when 
Samuel 'went in circuit ' to different sacred places and judged 
the people 'before Jehovah,'^® that is, before the altar or 
within the chapel of the high-place, deciding the lighter cases 
himself, but having recourse in doubtful matters to some 

^" E.xxii.2i,xxiii.9. ^' E.xxii. 22-24 " Graf, Gesch. Biich.^i^.?.^. 

" 1S.X.25. " iS.vii. 15-17. 

" E.xxi.6,xxii.8,9, where the E.V. has 'judges,' but the Heb. 'Elohim.' 
" iS.vii.6. 


sacred ' ephod ''"'^ or other mode of divination, by which the 
Divine sentence was supposed to be obtained, as Jethro 
advises Moses, * Be thou for the people towards Elohim, that 
thou mayest bring the causes unto Elohim.' ^^ It would 
hardly have been used in the later time when David or 
Solomon administered justice either in their own persons ''^ or 
by means of their officers.^^ May we not, in short, have in 
these very laws of Exodus a copy of that * common-law of the 
kingdom,' which Samuel had hitherto administered and by 
which the new king was henceforth to be guided ? We are 
told that Samuel 'wrote it in a book and laid it up before 
Jehovah.'*^^ And so we are also told that the laws we are now 
considering were ' written ' in a * book' by Moses f^ and these 
laws too, as we shall see, and not the Ten Commandments, 
are said in the Original Story to have been written by the 
Finger of Elohim on two tables of stone, which were put into 
the Ark and laid up before Jehovah, as the laws by which 
the people were to be governed, and on the basis of which the 
Covenant was made between Jehovah and Israel. 

However this may be, it seems clear that these laws must 
have been written in the age of Samuel, except the last twelve 
verses*^^ and one or two other small insertions,^'' which are due 
to the later Deuteronomist. Let us rejoice to know that the 
Divine Spirit is no longer to be held responsible, as the 
traditionary view supposes, not only for the innumerable con- 
tradictions of scientific fact and discrepancies in statement, 
which are observed in the story of the Pentateuch, but for 
moral delinquencies, like that which we have been considering, 
and many others of a similar kind. For myself, I repeat, 
what I have publicly stated, that it was not the scientific 
difficulties in the accounts of the Creation and the Flood, 

" lS.xxi.9,xxiii.6,9,xxx.7, and xiv. i8 (LXX). ^^ E.xviii. 19, 

*^ i.K.iii.28, vii.7. «« 2S.viii, i5,xv.2-6. «' 1S.X.25. 

*2 E.xxiv.4,7. " E.xxiii.22-33. "< E.xxiii. I3,i5bc,'i9. 


which brought my own mind to a stand, and compelled me to 
seek a satisfactory solution of them. Those difficulties I met, 
as they are met now by many, by supposing that they were 
mere reflections of ancient myths — not, of course, to be 
received as infallibly or even historically true, but such as a 
good and true man might write for the edification of an 
ignorant age. But the fact that such barbarous commands, 
as those we have heard to-day, were here attributed to the 
Fountain of all Goodness, was painfully forced upon my mind 
while engaged in translating the Book of Exodus into Zulu. 
I felt that it was absolutely impossible to believe this, without 
abandoning all trust in a righteous and perfect Being, whose 
children we are, and whose moral excellencies are faintly 
reflected in our own. From that time I resolved that, cost 
what it might in time and labour, ay, and in other things 
which men hold dear, I would, God helping me, search into 
the mystery, and master, if possible, the history of the com- 
position of the Pentateuch. I thank God that I have finished 
my work, at least sufficiently for all practical purposes, and 
am now able to lay before you the ripe results of my labours. 
And, if I have helped in any way to relieve your minds and 
the minds of others, as well as my own, from the misery of 
finding such laws as I have quoted, and other like laws, 
ascribed to the God of Truth and Love, the Father of our 
Lord Jesus Christ, in a Book which traditionary teaching 
represents as Divinely infallible, I feel that I shall not have 
lived in vain. 



Recapitulation ; the Book of the Covenant, with its laws on ilave holding, 
retaliation, cattle-stealing, grass-burning, witchcraft ; its three agricultural 
Feasts, in Spring, Summer, and Autumn ; its words apparently enjoining 
human sacrifices ; plain evidence in Scripture of human sacrifices being com- 
mon in Israel, derived from the practice of the Canaanites ; example in the 
case of Jephthah ; the story of Abraham's sacrifice written to check the 
practice, but not condemning it ; human sacrifices general among other ancient 
nations ; the practice lasting among the Hebrews to Josiah's time ; signs in 
Jeremiah and Ezekiel that the Ox'iginal Story was appealed to as enjoining 
such sacrifices ; in Micah's days they were i-egarded as acts of piety ; human 
sacrifices in Christendom ; * giving up witchcraft ' in what sense ' giving up 
the Bible.' 


JN my last Lecture I directed your attention to the 
series of laws in E.xxi-xxiii, which are represented 
as having been imparted by Jehovah to Moses 
at the foot of Mount Sinai, while the people in 
terror stood afar off, and Moses alone ' drew near unto the 
thick darkness where Elohim was; These laws, as I 
showed, bear the marks of having been composed in a rude 
age and for an agricultural people — in short, of having been 
written in Samuel's time, before the arts of civilised life had 
made any progress in Israel, as they did soon afterwards 
during the martial age of David and the luxurious reign ot 
Solomon. Among these were the oppressive slave-laws which 
we noticed, and that law of retaliation which our Saviour 
expressly set aside by His own gracious teaching, * life for 
life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 
burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.' ^ 

But there are other regulations, the reasons for which 
we can well understand, and the good sense of which we can 
thoroughly appreciate, from our own experience in a land 
like this. Thus we read 'When a man shall steal an ox 
or a sheep, and slaughter it or sell it, five oxen shall he 
repay for the ox and foitr sheep for the sheep' ;^ and we 

' E.xxi. 23-25, Mt.v.38,39. * E.xxii. I. 

I 2 


remember how, when Nathan the prophet brought home to 
David his guilt in the case of Bathsheba, by relating the 
parable of the poor man's ewe-lamb which the rich man 
had seized and slaughtered for his guest, the king replied, 
before he recognised the prophet's meaning, ' he shall restore 
the lamb fo2Lrio\<\^ ^ in exact accordance with this law, 
which was still apparently in force as part of the law of 
the realm, administered formerly as common-law by Samuel, 
but reduced, as we suppose, to a written statute in the 
law-book before us at the time when Saul, the first king, 
was chosen to reign over Israel.'' So, too, we have here the 
very reasonable ordinance, ' When a man shall eat-off a 
field or a vineyard, yea, shall let loose his beast that it 
eat-off in the field of another, the best of his field and the 
best of his vineyard shall he repay,' ^ and again, * If fire 
go-forth and catch dry grass, so that stack or standing-corn 
or field be devoured, he that kindled the conflagration shall 
certainly repay.' ^ We find here also the command, ' A 
witch thou shalt not let live,' ^ and we remember how the 
witch of Endor said to Saul, when he went in his despair 
to consult her before his last fatal fight with the Philistines, 
* Behold ! thou knowest what Saul hath done, how he hath 
cut off those that have familiar spirits and the wizards out 
of the land ; wherefore then layest thou a snare for my life 
to cause me to die .'' ' ^ But Saul, from all that we know 
about him, was not a man to have set his face so sternly 
against witchcraft from his own mere motion. It is probable 
that, in his early days as king, he had exhibited this zeal 
against witchcraft in obedience to this very law, and under 
the direct influence of Samuel himself. 

So in these laws we have three agricultural feasts estab- 
lished,^ at which the Israelites are enjoined to 'appear before 

^ 2S.xii.6. * /.no, III. ^ E.xxii.5. ^ E.xxii.6. 

' E.xxii. 18. 8 iS.xxYiii.9. 3 E.xxiii. 14-16. 


Jehovah,' •^ probably it is meant at the nearest highplace, 
and 'not to appear empty/ ^' that is, to bring gifts and 
sacrifices, — namely, the * Feast of Mazzoth ' (or unleavened 
cakes), the Spring festival, the ' Feast of Harvest, the first- 
fruits of their labours,' the Summer festival, and the ' Feast 
of Ingathering at the end of the year,' the joyous Autumn 
festival, when thank-offerings were made for the blessings of 
the year. Naturally this last — afterwards called the * Feast 
of Tabernacles ' ^^ — was the favourite festival, when the 
weather would be fine and the roads dry, and all things con- 
spired to heighten the universal gladness and mirth. It is 
this feast which is probably referred to in the Book of Judges 
as held to Jehovah in Shiloh yearly, when 'the daughters of 
Shiloh would come out to dance in dances.' ^^ And so in 
the days of Elkanah the father of Samuel it seems to have 
been the only festival regularly observed by pious Israelites ; 
for we are told how he went up, he and all his house, 'to 
offer the yearly sacrifice' at Shiloh.'^ In Solomon's time, 
however, the custom of celebrating all three feasts was fully 
established ; ' and three times in the year did Solomon offer 
burnt-offerings and peace-offerings upon the altar which he 
had built unto JEHOVAH.' ^^ Hence we may conclude that it 
had been previously enjoined, as we suppose, in this law-book 
of Samuel's time. 

Once more, we read ' Thy fullness and thy tears ' — in 
other words, the firstfruits of thy threshing-floor and of thy 
presses for wine and oil — ' thou shalt not delay ; the firstborn 
of thy children thou shalt give to Me. So shalt thou do 
with thine ox, with thy sheep ; seven days shall it be with its 
dam ; on the eighth day thou shalt give it to Me.' ^^ These 

»o E.xxiii.17. n E.xxiii.15. 

'2 L.xxiii.34, D.xvi.i3,i6,, 2Ch.viii.13, Ezr.iii.4, Zech.xiv.i6. 
" Ju.xxi. 19-21. n iS.i.3,2i,ii.i9. 

'^ iK.ix.25. 16 E.xxii.29,30. 


words sound as if they directly enjoined the practice of human 
sacrifice — * the firstborn of thy children thou shalt give to 
Me ' ; and nothing whatever is said about the way in which 
these firstborn children were to be * given to Jehovah ' ; only 
it is added, ' so shalt thou do with thine ox, with thy sheep ; 
on the eighth day thou shalt give it to Me.' To all appear- 
ance, then, the firstborn children were to be given to JEHOVAH 
just in the very same way as the firstling of an ox or a sheep, 
and therefore, though probably not before the eighth day, they 
were to be sacrificed. This, I repeat, is the direct and 
obvious meaning of the passage ; and I cannot undertake to 
say that it was not the meaning actually intended by the 
writer in Exodus. It is true that, as the story now stands, 
these firstborns of men * given to JEHOVAH ' are elsewhere in 
the Pentateuch ordered to be ' redeemed.' ^^ But there is no 
such direction in the Original Story, of which this law-book 
forms a part ; it only occurs in later passages, either inserted 
by the Deuteronomist or belonging to the Levitical Legisla- 
tion, and reflecting therefore, as we shall see hereafter, the 
views entertained in Israel centuries after the age of Saul and 
Samuel. We must remember that in those more ancient 
times there was, apparently, nothing horrible or revolting in 
the thought of human firstborns being sacrificed to Jehovah 
or Yahveh, first killed and then burnt upon the altar ; and 
it is very certain that pious — or, as we should say, superstitious 
Israelites did sacrifice their firstborn children, male and 
female, in this way, following the practice of the tribes of 
Canaan in their worship of the Sun-God ; as we read of the 
king of Moab, when sore pressed in battle by Israel, ' taking 
his eldest son who should have reigned in his stead, and 
offering him as a burnt-offering upon the wall,' ^^ or as we are 
told generally of the Canaanite tribes, * even their sons and 
their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their Elohim.' ^^ 

*^ E.xiii. I3,xxxiv.20, N.iii.46,47,xviii. 15,16, "* 2K.iii.27. '^ D.xii.31. 


This is so distinctly stated in the Bible itself that there can 
be no room for any doubt on this point. Thus we are ex- 
pressly told that the kings Ahaz and Manasseh made each 
his son to 'pass-over in fire/^o and again that the people 
generally ' made their sons and their daughters to pass-over 
in the fire.'^i And that this expression ' make to pass-over 
in the fire ' does not mean, as some have supposed, a merely 
harmless ceremony, by which these children were dedicated 
to the Sun-God without any bodily injury, but is employed as 
an euphemism for actual slaying and burning, is abundantly 
plain from such passages as these — 'They have built the 
high-places of Tophet which is in the valley of the son of 
Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire,'^^ 
— * They have built also the high-places of the Baal, to burn 
their children with fire as burnt-offerings unto the Baal,'^^ — 
' Moreover thou hast taken thy sons and thy daughters whom 
thou hast borne unto Me, and these hast thou sacrificed unto 
them to be devoured,'^^ — ' Is this of thy whoredoms a small 
matter that thou hast slain My children and delivered them 
to cause them to pass-over in the fire for them ? '^^ — ' For, 
when they had slain their children to their idols, then they 

came the same day into My sanctuary to profane it,'^^ in 

other words, they considered these human sacrifices to be not 
at all incongruous with the worship of JEHOVAH, but regarded 
them rather as an evidence of their piety, a proof of their 
intense devotion to that worship — and yet once more, ' Yea, 
they sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto devils, and 
shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and their 
daughters, whom they sacrificed unto the idols of Canaan, and 
the land was polluted with blood. '^7 

There can be no doubt, then, that the sacrificing of first- 
born children was a common practice throughout the whole 

2» 2K.xvi.3,xxi.6. 21 2K.xvii. 17. 22 jej. ^11.31, " jei..xix,5. 

" Ez.xvi.20. " Ez.xvi.21. 2c E/.xxiii.39. 2' rs.cvi,37,38. 


land of Israel, at least from the time of King Ahaz down- 
wards. But, if from the time of Ahaz, then assuredly from a 
much earlier date ; for, when that king reigned, three 
centuries after the death of Saul, the Canaanite tribes had 
long ceased to exist, as distinct from the Israelites and likely 
to corrupt them by their idolatries. They had either been 
exterminated, or had been reduced to the condition of bond- 
men in Solomon's time,^^ or, having lived among the Israelites 
on friendly terms, as Araunah the Jebusite king under 
David,^^ had intermarried and mingled in family relations 
with them.^° In short, if they learned these practices from 
the tribes of Canaan, it must have been in the very earliest 
period, immediately after the conquest, as the result of these 
very intermarriages, and the free intercourse which was main- 
tained between the new-comers and those who survived of the 
older inhabitants, — just exactly as the Norman invaders 
mingled freely and intermarried with the Saxon population 
of England, when the first fierce strife of the conflict was 

Accordingly the Bible tells us of human sacrifices being 
offered to Yahveh in those early times, — not merely in the 
case of Agag, king of Amalek, whom Samuel ' hewed in 
pieces before Yahveh,'^^ or in that of Saul's seven sons and 
grandsons, whom David * delivered into the hands of the 
Gibeonites, and they hanged ' — or, rather, impaled or crucified 
— ' them before Yahveh,'^^ — but especially in that of Jephthah 
the Gileadite, who ofi"ered his daughter, his only child, as a 
burnt-offering to Yahveh ;^^ and it is very noticeable that 
the account of this sacrifice is given, by a writer who probably 
lived in the age of Samuel, without one word of censure or 
expression of abhorrence at the action. So, again, the story 
of Abraham's sacrifice in G.xxii, a Jehovistic narrative which 

28 iK.ix.20,2i. 29 2S.xxiv. 18-24. ^o D.vii.3, J.xxiii. 12. 

=" I S. XV. 33. '^'- 2S.xxi.9. 33 Ju.xi.31. 


uses frequently Elohim, and which was probably written in 
the early part of David's reign, appears to have been composed 
for the express purpose of helping to abolish such sacrifices, 
by substituting for them animal sacrifices, ' redeeming ' them, 
in fact, as Isaac is redeemed with a ram.^"* But the writer 
expresses no horror whatever at the purpose of Abraham, 
On the contrary, he represents the patriarch as having had the 
thought suggested to him by God himself, and as concluding 
that it was a pious duty to sacrifice ' his son, his only son 
Isaac, whom he loved ' ;'"' and the lesson which he is taught, 
that God will be satisfied with his willingness of mind, his 
readiness to give up the dearest treasure of his heart at the 
Divine command,^^ would have been joyfully welcomed, we 
may well believe, by many a pious Israelite, who was 
'tempted,* after the example of others round him, to show 
his fear of the unseen Deity by making his firstborn son or 
daughter to ' pass-over in the fire ' to Yahveh. But the fact 
that this writer expresses no condemnation of Abraham's 
conduct, but on the contrary commends it, implies that in his 
time the custom in question actually existed, and was practised 
habitually by pious persons, as it was, we have seen, at a 
somewhat earlier period in Jephthah's days. He desires 
apparently to check the practice and to encourage that of 
' redeeming ' the firstborns of men. But he does not 
denounce it as utterly impious and abominable ; and it may 
be that his own views were not yet sufficiently clear and 
decided to enable him to do so. The same might be said of 
similar reforms being made in a country where infanticide 
now prevails, or the regular practice of human sacrifice, as in 
Dahomey or among certain tribes of British India. An 
European Christian, going fresh from our lands of light, 
would feel and express intense horror and disgust at such 

•^' Gxxii. 13. " G.xxii.2. =*« G.xxii. 12. 


proceedings. But a native reformer, if any such arose, would 
not feel this so strongly ; he might object to them and desire 
to abolish them, and yet would be able to find some excuse 
for them. Inured to such superstitions from his childhood, it 
would be difficult for him at first to inveigh severely against 
customs, which were so manifestly founded on pious motives, 
and the evil of which, brought up in the midst of such 
associations, he perhaps only imperfectly realized. 

It seems very possible, therefore — nay, rather, highly pro- 
bable — that this early law-book really meant to enjoin the 
duty of sacrificing human firstborns, male and female, as well 
as the firstlings of sheep and oxen, as a token of gratitude 
and devotion to Yahveh the Life-giver. And we know that 
the custom of offering human sacrifices has prevailed ex- 
tensively — far more extensively than is commonly supposed — 
not only among the Canaanites and Hebrews, but amongst 
almost all ancient nations, civilized and uncivilized, even down 
to the birth of Chr^tianity and after it. Pages, indeed, might 
be filled with an account of the various forms of human 
sacrifices which were practised in older times, and so uni- 
versally, that it is difficult to find a people who were wholly 
free from this dire superstition. Egyptians, Phoenicians, 
Syrians, Arabians, Athenians, Spartans, Etrurians, Romans- - 
the Hindoo in the East, the Mexican in the West — Thracians 
and Syrians, Gauls and Teutons, Saxons and Swedes, Danes 
and Pomeranians — all have taken part in the celebration of 
these bloody rites. And they were practised down to a com- 
paratively late age, and in the midst of the highest civiliza- 
tion, as well as among the most barbarous tribes. In fact, as 
one has said, ' in every generation of the four centuries, from 
the fall of the Republic to the establishment of Christianity, 
human victims were sacrificed by the Roman Emperors ' f^ 

3' Sir John Acton (quoted by Kalisch, Z^^z^. Parti./. 349.) 


while the old Prussians and Goths adhered to the custom for 
centuries after their nominal adoption of Christianity.^® 

Yet among the Hebrews, in a very early age, as we learn 
by the story of Abraham's sacrifice, the spirit of some great 
prophet was moved by Divine inspiration to raise a first mild 
protest against the continuance of this practice of offering 
human sacrifices, or at least to point out a ' better way ' of 
showing forth that singleness and sincerity of heart which 
God, the Living God, desires in his worshippers. And with 
some, no doubt, the lesson took effect as time went on ; and 
yet it is clear that so late as the days of Jeremiah and 
Ezekiel, just before the Captivity, if not even later still,^^ the 
practice still prevailed extensively ; and king Josiah, in his 
great Reformation, in the eighteenth year of his reign,'*® 
* defiled Topheth, which is in the valley of the children of 
Hinnom, that no man might make his son or his daughter to 
pass-over in the fire to Molech.''*^ Four centuries, however, 
had passed since the time when the story of Abraham's 
sacrifice was written ; and during that period there had been 
a growth in spiritual things in Israel, and a great advance had 
been made in the knowledge of religious and moral truth. 
And now the prophets, supported, no doubt, by the better 
feeling of many of their contemporaries, denounced the practice 
as utterly horrible and detestable. Yet, when Jeremiah 
repeats again and again so earnestly, with reference to these 
sacrifices of firstborn sons and daughters, the words ' which I 
commanded them not nor spake it, neither came it up into 
my heart,'''^ he must surely have had in view some passage 
such as that of the Original Story of the Exodus, which we 
are now considering, and which the people urged as implying 
a Divine command for the immolation of their firstborns. 
Ezekiel also seems to be referring to a similar direction when 

38 Kalisch (/^z^. Parti./. 323-35 1.) ^^ Is.lvii.5. ^« 2K.xxii.3. 

*' 2K.xxiii.i0. '^ Jer.vii.3i,xix.5,xxxii.35. 


he says, ' Wherefore I also — I gave them statutes not good, and 
judgments whereby they should not live, and I defiled them in 
their gifts, in their making to pass-over all that openeth the 
womb.''*^ And a century previously Micah had taught his 
people thus : — 

' Wherewithal shall I come before Jehovah, 
And bow myself before the High God ? 
Shall I come before Him with burnt-offerings, 
With calves of a year old ? 

Will Jehovah be pleased with thousands of rams, 
With ten thousands of rivers of oil ? 
Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression. 
The fruit of my body for the sin of my soul ? 
He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good : 
And what doth Jehovah require of thee. 
But to do justly, and to love mercy, 
And to walk humbly with thy God ? ' ** 

Alas ! we know that Christianity too has had its human 
sacrifices— not only in that cloister-system which immures for 
life in monasteries and convents young men and women, who 
have hardly yet begun to taste the gift of life, shuts them out 
in their prime from the cares and joys and trials of their 
family and of their kind, and bars them from all rational 
development of their mental powers, and preparation for 
those social and domestic duties for which God created them, 
a life which has too often been death, or worse than death, for 
many of the victims — but also in the frightful ' acts of faith,* 
as they were called, when human beings, male and female, 
frequently some of the best and noblest of our race, were 
burnt alive as heretics, for the glory of God and in the name 
of the blessed Jesus, the loving, compassionate Son of Man. 
And witches, too, have been burnt innumerable in Christian 
lands, under the sanction of such laws as that recorded in this 
ancient Hebrew law-book, supposed to have a paramount, 

« Ez. XX. 25, 26. " 


Divine authority. * Thousands of victims were sometimes 
burnt alive in a few years ; and it was not until a considerable 
portion of the eighteenth century had passed away that the 
executions had finally ceased. '^-^ In England, in the time of 
Elizabeth, new laws against witchcraft were made, which were 
executed with severity; and the good Bishop Jewell, 'when 
preaching before the Queen, expressed a hope that the 
penalties might be still more rigidly enforced.''"' In the 
following reign of James I. * a law was enacted which subjected 
witches to death on the first conviction, even though they 
should have inflicted no injury upon their neighbours ; and 
twelve Bishops sat upon the Commission to which it was 
referred.'**^ Sir MATTHEW Hale, in sentencing two women 
to be hung for witchcraft, took the opportunity of declaring 
that the reality of witchcraft was unquestionable, for the 
Scriptures had affirmed so much.''*^ Sir THOMAS BROWNE 
asserted that ' those who denied the existence of witchcraft 
were not only infidels but atheists.'"^^ And only about a 
century ago (1768) John Wesley declared that 'the giving 
up witchcraft is in eff*ect giving up the Bible.'^*^ 

To such an extent, but a few generations ago, were the minds 
of truly pious men, though living in the full light of the 
Gospel of Christ, possessed by this frightful superstition, the 
result of prevailing traditionary views respecting the origin 
and authority of the Hebrew Scriptures ; yet the Hebrew law 
condemns the witch only to die ; it was a refinement of so- 
called Christian legislators to burn alive both witches and 
heretics. No doubt, it is true that in * giving up witchcraft ' 
we do * give up the Bible,' as a record in every line and letter 
of Divine, Infallible Truth. But we restore it to its true 
place — its place Divinely intended — for the education of the 

*^ Lecky {Rise and Influence of Rationalism in Europe, L/. 5 1 . ) ^* lb. p. III. 
*' Ib.p.\l\. ""* Ib.p.\20. " Ib.p. \20. ^" Ib.p.llS. 


race. And once more I say, let us bless God devoutly for the 
gift of Modern Science, which has not only swept away these 
abominable superstitions, but has enabled us to read the 
Bible also with an intelligent faith, and to find in it Divine 
utterances, bringing life and health and spiritual strength and 
consolation to the soul of man. 



The laws in the Book of the Covenant were not the Ten Commandments ; 
the Vision of Jehovah by Moses, Aaron, and the Elders ; Moses in the Mount 
for forty days ; what became during this time of Joshua ? Moses receives the 
two tables of stone, which he dashes in pieces on seeing the Golden Calf ; he 
is summoned to come up again, and receives two other tables, inscribed with 
the words of the ' Book of the Covenant ' or ' Testimony ' ; two such stone 
tables very probably placed in the Ark in David's time, which by their weight 
may have caused the death of Uzzah ; their size compared with the laws to be 
engraved on them and the sacrificial table of Marseilles ; the Ten Words in 
E.xxxiv.28, shown to be a later interpolation ; the Deuteronomist, though he 
abridged the laws of the Book of the Covenant, would hesitate to cancel 
them ; he afterwards wrote the Ten Words, as if these had been engraved on 
the tables ; this explains the variations in the two copies of the Decalogue ; 
the plain facts to be stated about the Ten Commandments ; they do not include 
all Christian duties. 


N the last two Lectures we have been considering 
the very ancient code of laws contained in E.xx. 
23-xxiii.i9. It is important to notice that it was 
this old law-book, with all its quaint prescriptions, 
chiefly on agricultural matters, its portentous slave-laws, its 
antiquated injunctions, — and not the Ten Commandments, — 
which was accepted by the people and recorded by Moses, as 
the Law by which they were hereafter to be governed — the 
Law as it existed in the Original Story of the Exodus. This 
is plain from the following chapter, where we read — 'And 
Moses came and told the people all the words of JEHOVAII 
and all the judgments ; and all the people answered with one 
voice and said. All the words which Jehovah hath said will 
we do. And Moses wrote all the words of Jehovah, and 
arose early in the morning, and builded an altar under the hill, 
and twelve pillars according to the twelve tribes of Israel. 
And he sent young men of the children of Israel, who 
offered burnt-offerings and sacrificed peace-offerings of oxen 
unto Jehovah. And Moses took half of the blood and put 
it in basons, and half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar. 
And he took the book of the Covenant and read it in the ears 
of the people, and they said, All that Jehovah hath said will 



we do and be obedient. And Moses took the blood and 
sprinkled It on the people and said, Behold the blood of the 
Covenant which JEHOVAH hath made with you concerning all 
these words.' ^ 

But this is not all. These 'words of the Covenant' were 
not merely to be recorded in the perishable pages of a written 
book ; they were to be registered as a lasting deposit for all 
future ages, in tables of stone, by the ' Finger of God.' So 
we are told that, after ratifying this covenant between 
Jehovah and his people, ' Moses went up, and Aaron, Nadab, 
and Abihu, and seventy of the Elders of Israel. And they 
saw the Elohim of Israel, and under His feet like a work of 
transparent sapphire, and as the body of heaven for clearness. 
And upon the nobles of the children of Israel He put not 
forth His hand ; and they beheld Elohim and they ate and 
drank.' ^ It seems to be meant that they saw some actual 
manifestation of the Deity, and yet they still lived on, still 
* ate and drank ' as living men might do ; He ' put not forth 
his hand upon them ' to destroy them, as might have been ex- 
pected in accordance with the view of those and indeed of far 
later times, that no mortal could survive after seeing God's 
face ^ or hearing God's word.'* And, in fact, when after^vards 
Moses himself desired to see the 'glory' of God,^ Jehovah 
answers, ' Thou canst not see My face ; for man shall not see 
Me and live. But it shall be that, when My glory passeth by 
I will place thee in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover My 
palm upon thee until I have passed by ; and I will take My 
hand away, and thou shalt see My back, but My face shall 
not be seen.' ^ We are reminded here of the apostle's words. 
' Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no 
man can approach unto, Whom no man hath seen nor can 

> E.xxiv.3-8. ' E.xxiv.9-11. 

"• G.xvi. I3,xxxii.30, E.xxxiii.20,,xiii.22,,5. 

* E.xx. 19, D.iv.33,v.26. * E.xxxiii. 18. ^ E.xxxiii. 20-23. 


see,' ^ and of that central truth of Christianity that In the 
face of Jesus Christ and of all the good and true of all ages — 
in the beauty of holiness revealed in human lives — is revealed 
the glory of the Invisible Godhead, the goodness and truth of 
the Eternal Father, with Whose spirit they are filled. But 
those seventy-three who went up with Moses, can hardly have 
been supposed to have seen on this occasion what Moses 
alone, at his earnest entreaty, is some time afterwards per- 
mitted to see. Perhaps the writer meant that they saw on 
the far-off summit of Sinai a fiery splendour, the symbol of 
Jehovah's presence, and, underneath it, the clear deep blue 
of the sky like a sapphire throne. They were not, in fact, 
allowed to go up to the top of the Mount and come nigh to 
Jehovah : only Moses was to do this.® They * went up ' 
merely to its foot, and were not even permitted to enter the 
' cloud ' which enveloped the whole Mount — the ' thick dark- 
ness where Elohim was,' which Moses entered before ^ and 
now again enters with his servant Joshua.^® For after this 
glorious vision, we are told, * Moses arose and his servant 
Joshua, and Moses went up into the Mount of GOD. And unto 
the Elders he said. Stay for us here, until we return unto you ; 
and lo ! Aaron and Hur are with you ; whoever has matters 
of business, let him draw near unto them. And Moses went 
up into the Mount, and Moses was in the Mount forty days 
and forty nights.' " 

But where during these forty days was Joshua } The 
careless manner in which this narrative is commonly read 
and interpreted, is sufficiently shown by the fact that, whereas 
great stress is laid upon the circumstance of Moses having 
fasted forty days and nights on this occasion, no notice what- 
ever is taken of Joshua his servant having done the same ; '^ 
nor does the writer himself seem to have considered that, if 

' I Tim. vi. 16. ^ E.xxiv.2. » E.xx.2i. 

" E.xxiv. 15, 18. " E.xxiv. 13, 14, 18. " E.xxxii.17, 

K 2 


Joshua followed the steps of Moses, he too must have not 
only shared in the vision of God, vouchsafed to Moses and 
his companions,^^ but must have gone up also to the top of 
the Mount, and been present at the Divine communications 
made to his master, a privilege denied to Aaron and the 
rest, who were still in contact with the people at the foot of 
the Mount.i^ 

At the end of those forty days, we read, JehOVAH 'gave, 
unto Moses, when He had ceased to speak with him on 
Mount Sinai, two tables of the Testimony, tables of stone 
written with the Finger of Elohim.' ^^ 

Now we shall not be troubled with the question, which has 
perplexed an ' orthodox ' Commentator, as to the possibility 
of Moses carrying these two tables of stone, as large as the 
inside of the Ark in which they were afterwards placed and 
proportionally thick, which (he says) * Moses, without the 
strength of a Samson, could not have carried down from the 
Mount in one hand or even in both.' ^^ Nay, it is probable 
that a pair of stone-tablets of much smaller dimensions, such 
as this Commentator himself supposes,^^ viz.^ each nearly three 
feet long and two feet broad and some Inches thick, about the 
size of an ordinary gravestone, would have taxed the strength 
of Moses considerably to carry up to the top of Sinai, as he 
afterwards does,^^ as well as down. Nor does it exactly ap- 
pear what Joshua was about, the ' minister ' or servant of 
Moses,^* — at least, on the first occasion of Moses coming down 
from the Mount, when he Is expressly said to have been pre- 
sent 2° — that he did not carry one at least of these stones. 
The Hebrew writer evidently paid little regard to considera- 
tions of this kind : he was writing an imaginary, not an 
historical, narrative. It is of more consequence to enquire 

" E.xxiv.9-11. '* E.xxiv. I4,xxxii. 1-6. '*E.xxxi.i8. 

»« Keil ((7(7ww.I./.356.) '^ Keil, /.<:. '» E.xxxiv.4. 

>» E.xxiv.13. 20 E.xxxii.17. 


what he meant to be inscribed on these stone-tables, which he 
calls ' tables of the Testimony, written with the Finger of 
Elohim.* And this we shall see more clearly if we advance 
a step or two further in the story. 

As Moses, attended by his servant Joshua, was descending 
from the Mount with the two tables in his hand,^^ they heard 
(we are told) the cries of the people, who were dancing and 
shouting around a Golden Calf,^^ the image of the Sun-God, 
which Aaron had made at their request,^^ when, weary of the 
long absence of their leader, and not knowing what was be- 
come of him, they begged that Aaron would make them an 
Elohim to go before them.^* So Aaron made a molten calf, 
' and they said. This is thy Elohim, O Israel, who brought 
thee forth out of the land of Egypt ! And Aaron saw it, 
and built an altar before it, and Aaron made proclamation and 
said. To-morrow is a Feast to JEHOVAH ! ' ^^ It is plain that 
the writer intends to represent Aaron as identifying the Sun- 
God, symbolised by this calf, with JEHOVAH or Yahveh, the 
Elohim of Israel. When Moses, then, drew near to the Camp 
and saw the calf and the dancing, we are told that, in horror 
and indignation at the sight, he dashed the tables out of his 
hands, and brake them in pieces beneath the Mount.^^ You 
all know the story and will remember how Aaron makes a 
pitiful excuse for his conduct,^^ and how the Levites come 
forward at the summons of Moses and massacre three thou- 
sand of the people,^^ and Moses then intercedes for them,^^ 
and so they are merely plagued, instead of being utterly cut 
off for their sin.^° 

After this the command is issued to go fonvard on the 
march to the Promised Land,^^ and Moses, before he starts, 
desires to see the glory of Jeiiovah,^^ and receives that 

2> Z/.I5. 

22 z;. 17-19. 

" Z/.2-4. 

2^ V.l. 

« z/.4,S. 

2« V.ig. 

" 7/. 2 1-24. 

2» Z'. 26-28. 

ao z/. 30-32. 

'' ^.33-35. 

3' E.xxxiii.ij2. 

" zm8. 


promise, ' Thou shalt see My back, but My face shall not be 
seen.' ^3 Then follows the direction — ' And Jehovah said 
unto Moses, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first, 
and I will write upon these tables the words that were in the 
first tables which thou brakest. And be ready in the morning, 
and come up in the morning unto Mount Sinai, and present thy- 
self there to Me in the top of the Mount.' "^^ And Moses does 
this, and climbs the Mount once more with the two stone- 
tables in his hand,^^ and there Jehovah proclaims His awful 
Name.^^ ^ And Moses made haste and bowed his head to the 
earth and worshipped.' ^^ Then follow nineteen verses ^^ 
which formed no portion of the Original Story, but have been 
inserted by the later Deuteronomist ; after which the Original 
Story is resumed — ' And he was there with JEHOVAH forty 
days and forty nights ; bread he ate not, and water he drank 
not : and He (Jehovah) wrote upon the tables the words of 
the Covenant' ^^ 

The words, which were written on these tables, are here 
called 'the words of the Covenant' But they were also to be 
the very same words which were written on the first tables 
which Moses brake,^*^ and which were called ' tables of the 
Testimony.' ^^ What * Covenant,* then, can this be but that 
which was made so solemnly between Jehovah and Israel, 
based upon that ancient law-book,^^ the words of which are 
represented as first written in a book by Moses ^"^ and then 
engraved upon the stones by the Finger of God,"*^ as a 'Testi- 
mony ' or witness of what obedience was due from Israel to 
its Divine King } So, when Joash was crowned in after days, 
we are told that they put into his hands the * Testimony ' '*'* 
— that is, most probably a roll, on which was copied this code 
of laws, engraved on the stone-tables which were preserved in 

S3 ^,23 

^^ E.xxxiv. 1,2. 

"* eM. 

3" z'.5-7. 

»' V.%. 

- z'.9-27. 

^'' V.2%. 

<» E.xxxiv, I 

*« E.XXxi.18. 

"■' E xxiv.3 8. 

" ^'.4,7. 

'* 2K.xi.I2. 


the ark — perhaps the identical roll or book which Samuel 
himself wrote for the first king Saul and * laid up before 
Jehovah.' ^'"^ I repeat, the two tables contained, according 
to the Original Story, the ' words of tJiis Covenant ' ; there is 
not a shadow of real ground for supposing that they contained, 
as is commonly imagined, the Ten Commandments. 

It might, perhaps, be thought that the two stone-tables 
here described could have hardly contained, in characters 
large enough for ordinary purposes, the numerous prescrip- 
tions of this ancient code. And it is not enough to say in 
reply that this is only an imaginary story, and the two stone- 
tables may never have really existed ; because it is possible 
that this portion of the narrative may not be altogether im- 
aginary, but may be based on a real historical fact. For we 
are told in the account of the dedication of Solomon's Temple 
that ' the priests brought in the Ark of the Covenant of 
Jehovah into its place ' ^^ and that ' there was nothing in the 
Ark save the two tables of stone.' ""^ Assuming this to be 
historically true, it is most probable that they were first pre- 
pared and placed in the Ark on that memorable occasion in 
David's reign, when he brought up the Ark to Mount Zion,''^ 
after it had been long laid aside in the house of Abinadab ; ^^ 
and very possibly their weight may have caused the acci- 
dent by which Uzzah died on David's first attempt to bring 
up the Ark, when he tried to support the cart in which it was 
being carried, at some bad part of the road.'^° But, if the 
two tables were engraved in the early part of David's reign, 
they would probably contain — not the Ten Commandments, 
w^iich are the work of the Deuteronomist, and were written, 
as we shall see, in a much later age, but — a transcript of the 
'manner of the kingdom,' which Samuel 'wrote in a book ' in 
the days of Saul, and which was, perhaps almost identical with 

<^ lS.x.25, ■""' iK.viii.6, <' 7'.9. 

*«,3 *** iS.vii. 1,2. *",7. 


the 'Book of the Covenant' in E.xx.22-xxiii.2i. It becomes 
important, therefore, to consider within what space this sec- 
tion, containing about i,ioo Hebrew words, could be legibly 
inscribed. Now at Marseilles there was found not long ago 
a stone-tablet of great antiquity, inscribed with Phoenician 
characters, which were almost identical with the ancient 
Hebrew ; the whole surface of this stone contained \\ sq. ft, ; 
and on this were engraved distinctly for public uses 94 words.^^ 
But the stone-tables of Sinai, if their size may be conjectured 
from the dimensions given for the Ark,^^ would be nearly 
3 ft. long and 2 ft. broad,^^ and would have had on their four 
faces an area of about 24 sq. ft, large enough to have held 
1,500 such words, and so might have very well contained the 
code in question, the 'words of the Covenant.' 

It is true, we now read in our Bibles, 'And He wrote upon 
the tables the words of the Covenant, the Ten Co7nmand- 
vients' ^^ or rather, as it should be rendered, * the Ten Words.* 
But this last expression, 'the Ten Words,' is plainly a later 
addition to the original passage, which stands complete with- 
out it — ' He wrote upon the tables the words of the Covenant' 
There are some who suppvose that the ' Ten Words ' here 
meant are ten separate commands which they find in the 
nineteen verses just preceding, and which end, in fact, with the 
direction, 'And JEHOVAH said unto Moses, Write thou these 
words ; for after the tenor of these words I have made a 
Covenant with thee and with Israel.' ^^ But it would be easy 
to find more than ten commands in these verses. And these 
nineteen verses have been, as I have said, inserted by a later 
hand, that of the Deuteronomist ; and it is easy to see the 
object with which the insertion has been made. In my next 
Lecture I shall show that the Deuteronomist was a prophet 
of a very much later age, the age of Josiah. Let us assume 

" Movers {Opf. d. KartJu) " E.xxv. io,xxxvii. i, 

" E.xxxiv.28. *» E.xxxiv.9-27. 


this for the present, and suppose that such a prophet had 
before him in the Original Story of the Exodus the series of 
laws which we have been considering in E.xxi-xxiii. He 
would find very many of them antiquated and inapplicable in 
the present more advanced state of his nation ; and with his 
own higher and more spiritual views they would have seemed 
to him very unfit to be made in this form the basis of the 
Covenant between Jehovah and Israel. Accordingly, he 
extracted from them those injunctions which he deemed most 
important to be maintained in the future ; and, upon carefully 
comparing these nineteen verses with the more ancient code, 
it will be seen that almost all the laws contained in them have 
been simply copied from the older record,^'' sometimes in the 
very same words and in the very same order. Of course, it 
is incredible that the same writer, after describing the solemn 
ratification of a Covenant between Jehovah and Israel upon 
the basis of certain 'words' expressly revealed by Jehovah 
to Moses, would immediately go on to describe a second 
Covenant based upon a different set of words, as having 
been made between JEHOVAH and Israel within only a few 
weeks of the first. But the Deuteronomist, having merely con- 
densed the original code, by omitting the civil laws, many of 
which had in his time become obsolete, and retaining only the 
commands more expressly connected with religion, is thus 
able to say at the end, ' After the tenor of these words I have 
made a Covenant with thee and with Israel,' ^^ without doing 
any great violence to the Original Story, since * these words ' 
may be regarded as an abstract or summary of those upon 
which the Covenant was really based. Very probably he in- 
tended to suppress the older passages ^^ and to replace them 
by his own more condensed matter. But it is easy to under- 
stand that it would cost him a much greater pang, if he lived 

" eM9,20a = E.xiii. 12, 13, which also belongs to D., and 7'.24 is added. 
^^ E.xxxiv.27. ^^ E.xx.22-xxiii.33,xxiv. 3-8. 


some centuries after the older writer, actually to cancel a 
portion of his work however antiquated, than if he had lived 
only in the next age, and had been perhaps his disciple and 
a sharer in his plan and in his labour. He may have composed 
his own abstract and, as he considered, improvement of the 
original, with a view to supersede it, and yet may have hesi- 
tated to remove and destroy the older and now venerable 

But he was not content, it would seem, with this. These 
laws, even in their reduced form, are occupied chiefly with 
matters of outward rite and ceremony — the keeping of festi- 
vals, the sacrificing of firstlings, the redemption of firstborns. 
And such laws as these, however proper in themselves, 
did not touch the more important questions of public and 
private hfe — did not provide solemn warnings against murder, 
adultery, and theft. Accordingly the Deuteronomist com- 
posed the Ten Commandments — marked clearly as his by 
his own peculiar style ^^ — the germs of which may in most 
cases be found indeed in the older code, but in a less im- 
pressive form and mixed up with a mass of miscellaneous 
ordinances. And these he has inserted in the Book of Exodus, 
as we saw in a former Lecture,^^ in a place where they could 
not possibly have existed in the Original Story, as having 
been pronounced aloud by the Divine Voice on Sinai. To 
these ' Ten Commandments,' no doubt, the reference was 
meant to be made by the phrase ' the Ten Words,' which 
some one — perhaps the Deuteronomist himself or a later 
writer — has added to the original passage in the place which 
we have just been considering,^^ so conveying the idea that 
these were engraved on the stone-tables as the ' Words of the 
Covenant ' which Jehovah had made with Israel. But the 
copy of these Ten Words, as given in Deuteronomy itself, 

" See/V//AVI..'///.io7. " Ztv/.VHI. "" E.xxxiv.28. 


(as the New Bible Commentary admits,^^) differs considerably 
in some respects from that in the Book of Exodus — a fact 
which is utterly inconceivable if the Decalogue, as first given 
in Exodus, was regarded as the record of the actual utter- 
ances of the Divine Lawgiver, but is easily intelligible if the 
same later writer was the author of both versions, and took 
the opportunity in his later work of altering and amending 
his own earlier form. 

It is natural that many who may have noticed this striking 
difference in the two versions of the Decalogue, should shrink 
from examining very closely into a matter which interferes- so 
seriously with long-established traditionary views, or, if they 
do, from speaking of what they find. But how right and 
good would it be if the truth were openly taught in the pulpit 
as well as in the school, that in these Commandments we 
have only embodied the main points of human duty towards 
God and Man, as they were conceived in the mind of a pious 
Jewish writer in the seventh century before Christ. But then 
we must remember that there are also other points of 
Christian duty for which these ' Ten Words ' have not pro- 
vided, unless some strange and unnatural interpretation be 
put upon them — as, for instance, the duty of abstaining from 
lying and drunkenness, the duty of * doing justly' and Moving 
mercy ' as well as of ' walking humbly with God,' the duty 
of self-sacrifice, of laying down one's life, or what makes 
life sweet, for the brethren, all which the Master has summed 
up for us in the duty of ' loving God and Man.* 

«• /.71. 



The reign of the good king Josiah ; the high-priest Hilkiah probably 
Jeremiah's father ; the discovery, and private and public reading, of the Book 
of the Law ; the Covenant made in consequence, and the Reformation of 
Religion throughout Judah and Israel ; the prophetess Huldah consulted on 
this occasion, not Jeremiah, who never mentions this Book of the Law ; her 
language is identical with Jeremiah's, but strongly resembles that of Deu- 
teronomy, as also does Jeremiah's language in his prophecies and in the Books 
of Kings ; Jeremiah himself the writer of Deuteronomy, a portion of which 
was the Book found in the Temple ; Jeremiah has retouched the Original 
Story throughout ; circumstances which probably led to his writing Deute- 
ronomy ; what is true in the Bible is true in itself, not because it is found in 
the Bible. 


,N the year 624 B.C. there was a great commotion in 
Jerusalem. It was the eighteenth year of king 
Josiah/ who was only eight years old when he 
began to reign,^ and was therefore naturally from 
the first greatly under the influence of the high-priest and 
leading prophets of that time, and seems to have been a 
thoroughly well-disposed and pious prince, so that the character 
given of him in the Book of Kings is this — * He did the right 
in the sight of JEHOVAH, and walked in all the ways of Davifl 
his father, and turned not aside to the right-hand or to the 
left.' ^ Jeremiah began to prophesy in the thirteenth year of 
Josiah ; ^ and he had therefore been in full activity as a 
prophet for four or five years, when the events occurred to 
which I am now referring. The high-priest at the time in 
question was Hilkiah,^ and, as Jeremiah is described as the 
son of Hilkiah,^ it is very possible that he was the son of 
this very same Hilkiah the high-priest. It is true Jeremiah's 
father is not distinctly called the /^/^//-priest ; but then the high- 
priest Hilkiah is repeatedly styled simply -'the priest* in this 
very narrative which we are now considering,^ composed pro- 

* 2K.xxii.3, &c. 
' 2K.xxii.4. 

Jer.i. I. 

V.2. * Jcr.i.2,xxv.3. 

2K. xxii. 10, 12, I4,xxiii.24. 


bably by Jeremiah himself, who is generally believed to have 
been the writer of the two Books of Kings ; ® and in those 
days the high-priest, though, no doubt, a more important 
person under Josiah than he was in former times,^ seems to 
have had little of the grandeur and pre-eminent dignity which 
was attached to the office in a later age. 

On a certain day, then, in this eighteenth year of King 
Josiah, the king sent his secretary Shaphan with a message to 
Hilkiah the high-priest in the Temple. 'And Hilkiah the 
high-priest said unto Shaphan the scribe, I have found the 
Book of the Law in the House of JEHOVAH. And Hilkiah 
gave the Book to Shaphan and he read it' So, when Shaphan 
returned to the king, he * shewed the king saying, Hilkiah the 
priest hath given me a Book. And Shaphan read it before the 
king. And, when the king had heard the words of the Book 
of the Law, he rent his clothes. And the king commanded 
Hilkiah the priest,' and four others, 'saying. Go ye, enquire 
of Jehovah for me and for the people and for all Judah, 
concerning the words of this book that is found ; for great is 
the wrath of Jehovah that is kindled against us because our 
fathers have not hearkened unto the words of this Book.' So 
they went to * Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum, 
and they communed with her ; and she said unto them. Tell 
ye the man who sent you unto me. Thus saith Jehovah, 
Behold ! I am bringing evil on this place and on its inhabi- 
tants, even all the words of the Book which the King of Judah 
hath read. Because they have forsaken Me and have sacri- 
ficed unto other gods, that they might provoke Me with all 
the works of their hands, therefore My wrath shall be kindled 
against this place and shall not be quenched. ... So they 
brought the king word again. ^° And the king sent and they 
gathered unto him all the elders of Judah and of Jerusalem. 

« Bp. Lord Hervey, Did. of the Bibleyl\.p,2%. 

' comp. iK.iv.2-4, 2K.xix.2. '" 2K.xxii,3-20. 


And the king went up into the House of Jehovah, and all 
the men of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem with 
him, and the priests and the prophets and all the people, both 
small and great ; and he read in their ears all the words of 
the Book of the Covenant which was found in the House of 
Jehovah. And the king stood by the pillar and made a 
Covenant before JEHOVAH ... to perform the words of this 
Covenant that were written in this Book ; and all the people 
stood to the Covenant.' ^^ 

And now Josiah takes in hand a most energetic and 
sweeping Reformation. He begins at Jerusalem, and orders 
Hilkiah to remove from the Temple — observe, from the 
Temple itself where Hilkiah was in authority as high-priest, 
and ought not to have allowed such abominations — * the 
vessels made for the Baal and for the Ashera and for all the 
host of heaven,' and he burns them without Jerusalem and 
scatters their ashes. ^* He puts-down the idolatrous priests, 
who had sacrificed in the cities of Judah, and in the high- 
places roundabout Jerusalem, * to the Sun and to the Moon 
and to the Twelve Signs and to all the host of hcaven.'^^ He 
brings forth the Ashera — an obscene symbol of Sun-worship 
— from the House of JEHOVAH, and burns it, and stamps it 
small to powder, and casts the powder upon the graves of the 
people.^'* He breaks-down the houses, by the House of 
Jehovah, where foul impurities were practised in honour of 
the Sun-God. ^^ He defiles the idolatrous high-places through- 
out the whole land of Judah, as well as those within the walls 
of the city, and brings their priests to Jerusalem, degrading 
them into a sort of lower priesthood. ^^ He defiles the 
Topheth in the valley of Hinnom, close to Jerusalem, where 
up to that time the people had slain and sacrificed their 
firstborn children to Molech ' the king,' in other words, to 

>' 2K.xxiii.i-3. »2 2K.xxiii.4. "2^.5. 


Yahveh, the Sun-God. ^^ He removes the * horses of the 
Sun ' and burns the ' chariots of the Sun,' which the kings of 
Judah had placed at the entrance of the Temple, and demolishes 
the idolatrous altars which Manasseh had built in the two 
courts of the Temple.^® He defiles the high-places which 
Solomon had made on the right of the Mount of Olives for 
Ashtoreth and Chemosh and Milcom or Molech.^^ And 
then, beyond the boundaries of Judah, he carries the Refor- 
mation into the land of Samaria, whose Israelitish inhabitants 
had mostly been carried captive into Assyria about a century 
previously,^° their places having been filled by foreigners,^^ and 
over which district Josiah seems to have exercised authority, 
perhaps as a vassal or ally of the Assyrian king.^^ Here he 
destroys the ancient altar and high-place which Jeroboam 
had made at Bethel,^^ when the Ten Tribes separated from 
Judah,^^ and destroys the * houses ' or chapels of the high- 
places in the cities of Samaria, and slays ruthlessly the priests 
beside their altars, ' and he burned men's bones upon them 
and returned to Jerusalem.'^^ 'And the king commanded all 
the people saying. Keep the Passover unto JEHOVAH your 
Elohim, as it is written in the Book of the Covenant. Surely 
there was not holden such a Passover from the days of the 
Judges that judged Israel, nor in all the days of the kings of 
Israel nor of the kings of Judah. Moreover, the familiar 
spirits and the wizards and the teraphim and the idols and all 
the abominations that were spied in the land of Judah and in 
Jerusalem, did Josiah put away, that he might perform the 
words of the Law which were written in the Book that 
Hilkiah the priest found in the House of Jehovah.'^g 

Such is Jeremiah's account in the Book of Kings of the 
Great Reformation carried out by Josiah in the eighteenth 

'^ v.\o. '8 J,. 11^12. >9 z^, 13,14. 20 2K.xvii.6. 

2' V.2A,. " comp. 2K.xxiii.29. 23 ^ j^_ 24 xK.xii.29. 

'* 2K.xxiii. 19,20. '"' 2K.xxiii. 21-24. 


year of his reign. From the full details which he gives of 
these proceedings it is plain that he took a very deep interest 
in them. And the question must naturally arise, Where was 
Jeremiah himself all the while .'* In five years he had been 
known as a prophet in Jerusalem. And yet the deputation, 
sent by the king to * enquire of Jehovah,' go and consult — 
not Jeremiah, but — a woman, 'the prophetess Huldah, the 
wife of Shallum,' perhaps Jeremiah's- aunt, since Shallum was 
the name of his uncle.^^ It is strange that Jeremiah himself 
was not consulted on this occasion, if present at the time in' 
Jerusalem ; or, if he lived at Anathoth his native place, ^'^ where 
his family possessed some property, ^^ it was only about an 
hour's distance, and the report of the great event would soon 
have reached him, and would have brought him at once, we 
may be sure, to the City. He was present, at all events, we 
must suppose, among the ' priests and prophets,' in whose ears 
Josiah read the contents of the Book,^° perhaps on the day 
after the discovery ; and assuredly, as I have said, he must 
have been not only aware of that event, but intensely con- 
cerned in it, and in the measures which followed it. How is 
it, then, that in the whole of Jeremiah's very copious prophecies 
this * Book of the Law,' this * Book of the Covenant,' is never 
once mentioned, although he does apparently refer to the 
Covenant made by Josiah,^^ as also to the Covenant made 
by Moses as recorded in this Book of Deuteronomy,^^ and 
although he certainly knew the Book well, inasmuch as more 
than once he quotes the identical words of it }^'^ How is it 
also that the prophecy of Huldah, when carefully examined, 
betrays in its language a very close resemblance not only to 
Jeremiah's prophecies, but to the Book of Deuteronomy,^* 

" Jer.xxxii.7. "Jer.i.i. " Jer.xxxii.7,8. *° 2K.xxiii.2. 

8',xi.l-6,xxiv, 15,18, 19. ^^ Jer.xxxiv. 13, 14, comp.Yy.yiv.\2. 

"' <r(7w/.xxxiv. 14 with D.xv. 12 — vii.23with D.v.33 — vii.33,xvi.4,xxxiv.20, with 
D.xxviii.26 — xi.4 with D.iv,20 — xxii.8,9 with xxix. 24-26, &c. 
" See /V«/.HI.574.v. 

L 2 


supposed to have been lost, and only then, to the astonishment 
of all, accidentally found in the Temple, so that its contents 
would have been utterly unknown to her ? How is it above 
all that Jeremiah's language throughout his prophecies and 
throughout the two Books of Kings agrees in a most singular 
manner with that of Deuteronomy ? Thus the New Com- 
mentary says — * The writings of Jeremiah often strikingly 
recall passages of Deuteronomy. The prophet repeatedly 
employs words and phrases which are characteristic of 
Deuteronomy, and there is also at times a remarkable 
similarity of general style and treatment. These resem- 
blances are neither few nor insignificant. It is needless in 
this place to demonstrate their existence and importance, 
which are now admitted on all hands.'^^ And then the writer 
tries to account for this similarity by supposing that the 
prophet had so closely studied — not the whole Pentateuch, 
but — this particular Book of the Pentateuch, that he had 
become thoroughly imbued with its spirit and had made its 
very language his own. 

Rather, the true explanation of the matter is simply this, 
that Jeremiah himself wrote the prophecy which he has put 
into the mouth of Huldah, and wrote also the Book of 
Deuteronomy, and that this, or some portion of it, was the 
*Book of the Law' or 'Book of the Covenant,' which was 
found by Hilkiah in the Temple, having been placed there 
with the knowledge and connivance of Hilkiah, and probably 
also with that of Huldah, to be found at this time. It cannot 
be supposed that Josiah * read in the ears of the people ' all 
the stories in Genesis, all the minute details about the Ark 
and Tabernacle in Exodus, all the ritualistic prescriptions in 
Leviticus and Numbers, the numberings of the Camps^^ and 
the list of the marchings and stations in the wilderness^^ — that 

»» B CI./. 794. »" N.i.-iv. " N.xxxiii. 


these would have produced such a mighty effect upon the 
king and people, or that all this could have been read at one 
time. It was evidently the Book of Deuteronomy which was 
found in the Temple, to which Huldah's words refer, * I will 
bring evil upon this place and upon the inhabitants thereof, 
all the words of the Book which the king of Judah hath 
read,'^^ and which is called repeatedly the * Book of the Law ' 
in Deuteronomy itself ;^^ or rather it was the oiHgiJial part of 
this Book, the part of it which was first written, viz., Ch.v- 
xxviii, except ch.xxvii, which a glance will show to have been 
inserted afterwards, since it breaks the connexion where it 
now stands. This portion consists of a long address of 
Moses, beginning with the Ten Commandments, which vary 
here considerably, as we have seen,"*^ from those in E.xx, and 
ending with an awful denunciation of Divine Judgment, the 
closing words of which may well have rung long in Josiah's 
ears — ' If thou wilt not observe to do all the words of this Law 
that are written in this Book . . . then Jehovah will make 
thy plagues wonderful and the plagues of thy seed, even great 
plagues of long continuance, and sore sicknesses and of long 
continuance. . . . Also every sickness and every plague which 
is not written in the Book of this Law, them will Jehovah 
bring upon thee until thou be destroyed. . . . And Jehovah 
shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the 
earth even unto the other. . . . And among these nations 
shalt thou find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot have 
rest ; but Jehovah shall give thee a trembling heart and 
failing of eyes and sorrow of mind. And thy life shall hang 
in doubt before thee, and thou shalt fear day and night, and 
thou shalt have none assurance of thy life. In the morning 
thou shalt say, Would God it were even ! and at even thou 
shalt say. Would God it were morning ! for the fear of thine 

'^ 2K.xxii. 16, (Tt'w/. D.xxix.27. '" D.xxviii.6r,xxix.2I,,x\xi.26. 



heart wherewith thou shalt fear, and for the sight of thine 
eyes which thou shalt see. And JEHOVAH shall bring thee 
into Egypt again with ships by the way whereof I spake unto 
thee, Thou shalt see it no more again ; and there ye shall be 
sold unto your enemies for bondmen and bondwomen, and no 
man shall buy you.'''^ 

After this it is added, 'These are the words of the 
Covenant, which Jehovah commanded Moses to make with 
the children of Israel in the land of Moab, beside the Covenant 
which He made with them in Horeb.''*^ You will remember 
that older Covenant supposed to have been made at Sinai or 
Horeb, as the Deuteronomist always calls it,'*^ based upon a 
number of ordinances recorded in E.xxi-xxiii, respecting 
agricultural and other matters, of which many were totally 
unsuited to a more advanced stage of civilized life/'' and how 
(as I explained in my last Lecture^^) the Deuteronomist — 
Jeremiah, as we have now seen reason to conclude — first 
abridged these, retaining only the more important laws 
relating to religion, and represented this abridgment or 
summary, which in fact contained the substance of the 
original code, as the basis of that Covenant, 'Write thou 
these words, for after the tenor of these words I have made a 
Covenant with thee and with Israel,' and how, not content 
with this, he further composed the 'Ten Words' of the 
Decalogue, as more fully and forcibly expressing the basis of 
such a Covenant as Jehovah might be supposed to have 
made with Israel, and inserted these in E.xx as having been 
uttered with a loud voice on Sinai, amidst thunderings and 
lightnings, in the ears of all the people, and as having been 
engraved on the two Tables of Stone.^^ But, further, it 
appears upon a close examination that he has retouched also 

^> D.xxviii. 15-68. 

« D.xxix.i. 

« D.i.2,6,i9,, 



** /. 106, 1 15, 1 16. 




the Original Story as it had come into his hands, inserting 
shorter"*^ or longer"*^ passages, which breathe his own prophetical 
spirit and exhibit unmistakeably his well-known style. But 
even this, it seems, did not satisfy him. The work in its 
present form was not likely to make any strong impression 
upon a people so sunk in gross idolatries as the people of 
Judah and Jerusalem in his time. You have heard the long 
list of abominations practised even in the Temple itself during 
the first seventeen years of the pious king Josiah, surrounded 
by priests and prophets, and advised by the high-priest 
Hilkiah and for five years past by Jeremiah himself. The 
prophet saw that something more was needed to rouse the 
king and people from their deadly lethargy ; he felt that even 
his own stirring words, introduced here and there into the 
Original Story, were too much overlaid by historical and 
other matter to answer the needs of the present time. He 
must discharge the solemn duty to which he knew God's 
Spirit had called him, of warning his people of their doom if 
they persisted in their wickedness. But he was young at the 
time when the call had reached him and he felt his spirit first 
stirred for this work ; and in the sense of his weakness and 
inexperience he cried, ' Ah Lord God ! behold ! I cannot 
speak, for I am a mere youth.''^^ What wonder is it that, 
even when reassured by promises of Divine support, he shrank 
from facing the angry crowd, and feared that rebukes, poured 
out from his lips against the idolatrous practices of the age, 
encouraged by priests and prophets'^^ and even permitted by 
the king, would fall unheeded and be spoken to the winds } 
Perhaps he had found this already by experience to be true ; 
and so he resolves to speak to them in the name of Moses — 

*',x.8-I2, xviii. 18,19, xxii. 14-18, xxiv.59,6o,xxvi,4,5, xxviii. 15,20-22, 
xxxi. i3,xxxv.2-4,E.iii. I, 'to IIoreb,'xv. 25b,26,xvii.6, 'in Horcb,' I4,xix.3b- 
8,9b,xxiii. 13, I5bc, I9,xxiv. i2,xxiii.7-i4,34,xxxiii.3-6. 

*^ G.xv, E.xiii.3-i6,xx,i-i7,xxiii. 22-33, xxxiv.9-27. *^ Jci.i.6. 

*» Jer.i. i8,ii.8,26,v.3l,vi. I3,viii.i,2,&c. 


to embody his own earnest lessons and warnings in the form 
of a last discourse, supposed to have been delivered by the 
great lawgiver to his people immediately before his death, 
including the Ten Commandments and such laws of the older 
Covenant as still seemed suited for his people, and making the 
whole the basis of a second Covenant made by JEHOVAH with 
Israel at the end of the wanderings, as the former was made 
at the beginning of them.^^ 

This, then, in all probability was the ' Book of the Law ' 
or * Book of the Covenant ' which was found by Hilkiah in the 
Temple, and the reading of which produced such a mighty 
effect at the time in Jerusalem. In my next Lecture I shall 
return to this subject. For the present I will only ask, Are 
such words as these, * Man doth not live by bread alone, but 
by all that proceedeth out of the mouth of JEHOVAH doth 
man live ' ^^ — are such words as these less true because they 
occur in Deuteronomy, and were written by a later prophet, 
not by Moses '> Are they not rather true in themselves, by 
whomsoever spoken or written, and as such come home at 
once with power to the hearts and consciences of men ? 
' Truly the light is sweet and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes 
to behold the Sun.' ^^ But is the light sweet to our eyes only 
because this statement is found in the Bible t Is not the 
light sweet because our gracious God and Father has made 
the Sun and given us our visual powers, that we may open 
our eyes, and we shall behold the glory and beauty of the 
Universe } And is the light of Truth sweet to us only because 
we find the bright reflexion of it in the Bible } Rather., we 
rejoice to know that God's Truth exists for us eternally, 
shining like the Sun in the spiritual heavens, and that we, 
His children, have spiritual senses wherewith to behold it 
— a spiritual eyesight, to which this light of the inner man is 

*i D.xxix.i. *2 D.viii.3. " Ecc.xi,;. 


sweet, by which we can enjoy its brightness, — a spiritual 
hearing, by which we can hear and receive Divine Truth, 
wherever and by whomsoever spoken to us, whether in the 
Bible or out of the Bible, whether in the Church of Christ or 
out of it — a spiritual appetite, by which we can * taste the 
good word of God and the powers of the world to come,' ^^ by 
which we can feed upon the living bread — can 'eat the 
flesh' and. 'drink the blood' of Christ's Divine Teaching ^^ 
and live. 

" Tohn vi S 3-6.3. 



The Book of Deuteronomy the main cause of Moses being regarded as a 
great lawgiver; it breathes the true prophetical spirit ; ch.i-iv,xxix,xxx, added 
after the Captivity, and ch.xxvii also inserted into the original addi^ess of 
Moses; the Book found in the Temple not the autograph of Moses ; such 
impersonations often employed for pious ends by Christian and Jewish writers, 
as in the Books of Enoch, Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah, and the Chronicles ; 
Jeremiah in the Books of Kings records fictitious prophecies and other utter- 
ances ; such fictions no more dishonest than similar instances in Thucydides 
or Tacitus ; the effect of reading the book in Josiah's time may have been 
greater than was anticipated ; the real facts perhaps afterwards disclosed to 
the King ; the Deuteronomist orders the three great feasts to be kept at 
Jerusalem ; this would have been impracticable in the days of David and 
Solomon, but points to the diminished kingdoni under Josiah ; the hope of 
Jeremiah in writing Deuteronomy painfully frustrated ; the lesson for our 
own times* 


|N my last Lecture I set before you what appears to 
be the true account of the origin of the Book of 
Deuteronomy. Of course, traditionary theo- 
logians find it very difficult to allow this, since 
out of the whole Pentateuch it is Deuteronomy which really 
attracts most forcibly the reader's attention, and has helped 
mainly to establish the reputation of Moses as a great law- 
giver. The legislation in the other books, except a few 
passages inserted by the Deuteronomist himself, is com- 
paratively dry and uninteresting, and has no prophetical ring 
about it. Two-thirds of Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers are 
almost wholly occupied with prescriptions about the different 
kinds of sacrifices, the duties and prerogatives of the Priests 
and Levites, the ceremonies of purification, the construction 
of the Tabernacle and its vessels. Even the code of laws 
on which the Covenant is based in the Original Story, in 
E.xxi-xxiii, has hardly been much studied, I imagine, by the 
majority of Christians. On the other hand, almost every line 
of Deuteronomy breathes the true prophetical spirit, and is 
'profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for in- 
struction in righteousness.' * In the last four chapters, indeed, 

' 2Tim.iii. i6. 


there are still retained one or two fragments of the Original 
Story,^ as well as some insertions of a very late date,^ of 
which I shall have to speak hereafter, mixed up with words 
of the Deuteronomist, to whom especially we owe the grand 
' Song of Moses ' in D.xxxii, whereas the * Blessing of Moses ' 
in D.xxxiii belongs apparently to the same age, but not to 
the same hand. But the first thirty chapters, with the ex- 
ception of two verses,^ are wholly Jeremiah's, four chapters 
having been subsequently prefixed by him by way of intro- 
duction, and two appended, to the book as found in the 
Temple, besides ch.xxvii, inserted awkwardly, as we have 
seen,* in the place where it now stands. These introductory 
and concluding chapters must have been added at least twenty- 
five years afterwards, when the woes of the Babylonish Cap- 
tivity had at last overwhelmed the land ; as appears from the 
fact that, whereas in the original address of Moses there is 
only a threatening of the misery which would assuredly befall 
his countrymen if they continued in their impenitence,^ these 
additional chapters refer distinctly to that calamity as having 
already fallen upon Judah. ' When all these things are come 
upon thee . . . and thou shalt recall them to thine heart among 
all the nations whither Jehovah thy Elohim hath driven thee, 
and shalt return unto Jehovah thy Elohim . . . with all thine 
heart and with all thy soul, then Jehovah thy Elohim will 
bring back thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and 
will return and gather thee from all the nations whither 
Jehovah thy Elohim hath scattered thee.'^ These words 
were probably written after the beginning of the Captivity, 
when Josiah's grandson, Jehoiachin or Jechoniah, was carried 
away to Babylon, with all the nobles, warriors, and craftsmen, so 
that ' none remained, save the poorest sort of the people of the 

2 D.xxxi.i4,i5,23,xxxiv.5,6, lo. 

* P.xxxi. 16,22, xxxii.44,48-52,xxxiv. 1-4,7-9. * D.x.6,7. 

*/, 149. " D.xxviii. 15-68. ^ 1-3, r(7w/.iv.29-3i. 


land,' ^ — eleven years after which event the rebellion of his 
uncle Zedekiah, whom Nebuchadnezzar had made king in his 
room, brought about the final catastrophe,^ in which all the rest 
of the people were carried captive and Jerusalem was burnt to 
the ground. '° It is the main address of Moses, therefore, in 
D.v-xxvi,xxviii, which is, strictly speaking, the ' Book of the 
Law,' the ' Book of the Covenant,' on the basis of which the 
second Covenant was supposed to have been made between 
Jehovah and Israel.^^ And it is this which is blindly re- 
ceived as the work of Moses — if (as one has said '^) ' that 
which is little better than passivity can be called receiving ' 
— received merely because * presented by tradition, or asser- 
tion, or authority,' in that state of * dull, lifeless, irreceptive 
torpor, in which the intellect has been hitherto entranced ' — 
and has won for Moses mainly the reputation of a lawgiver. 
There are some, indeed, who would still keep the intellect 
drugged with sophistries, and drowned in that * dull, lifeless 
torpor,' so forcibly described, under the influence of traditionary 
teaching. And even the New Commentary leans to the view 
that the book found by Hilkiah was ' the original copy of the 
Pentateuch deposited by order of Moses ; ' ^^ while a living 
prelate of our Church has written, * Though the copy cannot 
be proved to have been Moses' autograph, it seems probable 
that it was from the place where it was found, iriz. in the 
Temple, and from its not having been discovered before, but 
being only brought to light on the occasion of the repairs 
which were necessary ; and from the discoverer being the 
high-priest himself it seems natural to conclude that the par- 
ticular part of the Temple where it was found was one not 
usually frequented, or ever, by any but the high-priest. Such 
a place exactly was the one where we knozv the original copy 

8 2K.xxiv. 10-16. » 2K.xxiv. 17-20. "> 2K.xxv.8-2i. 

" D.xxix. I. >2 ]5p WiLBERFORCE {Gtwrdiafiy Oct. 26, 1870.) 

"^. C.I./. 794- 


of the Law was deposited by command of Moses/ '* We 
' know * this, says the writer, because the order Is given in this 
very Book of Deuteronomy to put it * by the side of the ark ' ^^ 
— as If this could not have been part of the plan pre-arranged 
by Jeremiah himself and his friends, that it should be placed 
there, where of course it was found ! But how is it that. If it 
lay all along where Moses ordered it to be placed, not in the 
ark but * by the side ' of it, it was never seen by Hllklah or 
any other high-priest during the first seventeen years of 
Josiah's reign ? And how is it that when the ark was brought 
up to David's Tent, and afterwards removed to Solomon's 
Temple, no mention is made of this venerable *■ Book of the 
Law,' the very * autograph of Moses,' though placed each time 
(it Is supposed) * by the side of the ark ' ? 

Yet some one perhaps will say. How can we ascribe such a 
proceeding as that here supposed to good men, such as Hllkiah 
and Jeremiah, or believe that they can ever have sanctioned, 
much less contrived, such a * pious fraud ' ? In the first place, 
we must not judge of those times by the higher morality of 
our own, enlightened, as we have been, by eighteen centuries 
of Christian teaching ; though we know that even in the 
Christian Church ' pious frauds * have been not uncommon — 
that Gospels and Epistles and other works innumerable have 
been ascribed to apostles and others who never wrote them, 
and that a prophecy is actually quoted in the canonical 
epistle ascribed to St. Jude, as having been really uttered by 
* Enoch the seventh from Adam.' ^^ In the Jewish Church, 
however, such impersonations were often employed for pious 
ends. We have, for instance, the prophecies ascribed to 
Daniel, which were written in the time of the Maccabees, 
B.C. 165, to comfort the godly Jews under the tyrannical oppres- 
sions of the Greek Prince, Antiochus Epiphanes, and strengthen 

»* Bp. Lord Hervey {Diet, of the Bible,\.p.Z\dt). '* D.xxxi.9,26. 

•« Jude 14, 15. 


them to resist the fiery temptations to which they were 
exposed from the heathen influences around them, represented 
under a figure by Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, and Darius. 
In the Books of Chronicles, Ezra, and Nehemiah, we have 
numerous fictitious speeches and prophecies, royal decrees 
and letters — for instance, a letter from the prophet Elijah to 
king Joram seven years at least after Elijah (according to 
the story) was taken up into heaven ; ^' and accordingly the 
English Bible tells us in the margin that it was ' writ before 
Elijah's death,' or rather, it should have said, * before his 
translation.' Again, the Books of Kings, composed by 
Jeremiah himself, contain utterances by various prophets, 
Ahijah,^^ Shemaiah,^^ Jehu,'^'' the prophetess Huldah,^^ which 
are all written in Jeremiah's own style. The prophets in 
question may, no doubt, have delivered solemn warnings on 
the occasions referred to ; but, if so, no record of their words 
was kept; the historian has put into their mouth his own 
language, embodying the thoughts with which, as he con- 
ceived, their minds would most probably be filled at such 
times. So the long prayer of Solomon at the dedication ot 
the Temple ^^ and his previous words ^^ are entirely Jeremiah's. 
And in like manner in the Book of Deuteronomy the writer 
puts his own words into the mouth of Moses, ascribing to him 
such feelings as he might naturally be supposed to have when 
taking leave of his people — doing here, in fact, what the 
writer of the Original Story had done before him, in com- 
posing the ' Blessing of Jacob ' ^^ or the * Song of Moses ' ^^ 
or the 'prophecies of Balaam,' ^^ and no more than the 
greatest writers of all ages have done without being charged 
with bad faith or dishonesty, as when Thucydides ascribes a 
grand funeral oration to the great Athenian statesman 

" 2Ch.xxi. 12-15. '* iK.xi.3i-39,xiv.6-i6. *^ iK.xii.22-24. 

2" iK.xvi. 1-4. 21 2K.xxii. 15-20. " iK.viii. 23-61. 

" 2^,12,13,15-21. 24 G.xlix.l-27. " E.xv. I-18. "^^ N.xxiii.xxiv. 


Pericles,^^ or when Tacitus records a long address, as spoken 
by the Highland Chieftain Galgacus — who spoke, of course, 
if he spoke at all, in Gaelic to his own warriors — before the 
decisive battle with the Roman invaders.^^ 

Moreover, the effect of reading this * Book of the Law,' may 
have been far greater than had even been anticipated, and 
may have taken by surprise Jeremiah himself and the other 
parties to the design. Their intention was probably merely 
to produce this new work, a prophecy in disguise, in the hope 
that it might startle the drowsy king and people, and 
strengthen the hands of those who were labouring in the same 
spirit with Jeremiah himself to reform the state of religion in 
Judah. At the moment of the discovery Jeremiah seems 
very naturally to have kept himself out of the way, and to 
have subsequently taken no prominent part in the proceedings. 
Perhaps in the first hours of excitement it was felt to be 
difficult or undesirable to say or do anything which might act 
as a check upon the zeal and energy exhibited by the king, 
and in which, as it seems, he was supported by the people, in 
putting down by force the gross Idolatries which polluted the 
land. That impulsive effort, which followed immediately 
upon the reading of the book, would most probably have been 
arrested, if he had been told at once the true origin of those 
awful words which had made so strong an impression on him. 
They were not less awful, it is true, because uttered in the 
name of Moses by such a prophet as Jeremiah. But their 
effect would be infinitely greater, we may be sure, if they 
were regarded as the dying instructions and warnings of 
Moses himself, than if they had been heard as the denun- 
ciations of a youthful prophet actually living in their midst. 
But we seem to have an indication that the real facts of the 
case became afterwards known to the king, at all events, 

" THUC.II.xxxv-xlvi. 28 x^c. r/^.^^r/ 


though not perhaps to the people generally, in the circum- 
stance that he does not appear to have kept any other 
Passover, or the other two great Feasts in this very same 
year, with the like solemnity, as the law of this Book required 
— * Thrice in the year shall all thy males appear before 
Jehovah thy Elohim in the place which He shall choose, in 
the Feast of Mazzoth, and in the Feast of Weeks, and in the 
Feast of Tabernacles.' -^ 

This command is merely copied from the older code,^° but 
with one important difference, that in that no mention is 
made of all male Israelites appearing at these Feasts, * in the 
place which JfiHOVAH would choose.' The original command 
is simply this — ' Thrice in the year shall all thy males appear 
before the Lord JEHOVAH ';^^ and they would doubtless go to 
the nearest Sanctuary, the worship not having been confined 
to one place only in that ancient law-book written in the days 
of Samuel.^^ How indeed was it possible that from all parts 
of the original land of Israel, from the distant Dan, from the 
regions across the Jordan, all the males should present them- 
selves for these three Feasts at some one place ? The Feast 
of Mazzoth^^ or Unleavened Bread, with which the Passover 
was connected, occurred in the very midst of the rainy 
season ; and the weather in Palestine at this part of the year 
is described by travellers as follows — ' Much rain falls, some- 
times in torrents, by day and night, but chiefly by night ; and 
all that has been said before about inundated plains and 
hollows is strictly applicable to this month, as well as that the 
streams are in many cases swollen to deep and rapid rivers 
dangerous to pass.' ^'* Imagine all the males being required to 
travel in such weather — mostly, we must suppose, on foot — a 
distance of a hundred miles or more from the more distant 
localities, whose inhabitants would therefore consume about a 

29 D.xvi.i6. «" E.xxiii. 14-17. " z/.i;. ^2^73 

" E.xxiii.i5,xxxiv.i8, D.xvi.l6. " Kitto i^Phyi. Hist, of Palestine.^. 220.) 

M 2 


week at least on the journey each way ! But, having lost 
three weeks thus about the beginning of the barley-harvest, 
during which they would have left their farming operations, 
their cattle and flocks, in the charge of women, children, and 
slaves, the men would then remain a month at home, before 
being required to start again, in the midst of the wheat- 
harvest, to keep the Feast of Weeks/^ called in older times 
the Feast of Harvest.^^ But how can we conceive of all the 
males of the Trans-Jordanic tribes, or any considerable 
number of them, crossing the river at this season, when 
Jordan, we are told, ' overfloweth all its banks all the time of 
harvest,'^^ and travellers inform us that ' the current is then so 
strong that many of the pilgrims are swept away by it, and a 
year seldom passes in which some of them are not drowned ' ? ^^ 
No doubt, in David's time, when the ark had been brought up 
to Mount Zion, and in Solomon's, when David's Tent had 
been replaced by the Temple, it was desired to draw the 
affections of the people towards the royal city, as the centre 
of the civil and religious life of the community. Here 
Solomon kept the three Feasts,^^ and many would be en- 
couraged by the king's example and by other influences to 
'go up to offer sacrifices in the House of Jehovah at Jeru- 
salem.' ^^ In that age, too, some pressure may have been put 
upon the people to induce them to celebrate at Jerusalem ' the 
Feast that is in Judah ' in the seventh month,'*^ that is, the 
joyous Autumn festival, called in the older law-book the 
* Feast of Ingathering ' ^^ and afterwards the * Feast of 
Tabernacles''*^ — the only Feast which seems to have been 
generally kept in early times."'* And Jeroboam therefore said 
to the Ten Tribes with great significance, 'Ye have had 

3^ E.xxxiv.22, D.xvi.i6. "^ E.xxiii.i6. ^7 J.iii.15. 

"8 KiTTO {Phys. Hist. 0/ Palesilne, '' 1K.ix.25. 

*° iK.xii.27. "' iK.xii.32. *2 E^xxiii. 16, copied in xxxiv.22. 

" L.xxiii.34, D.xvi. i6,xxxi. 10, Ezr.iii.4, Zech.xiv. 16. 
** Ju,ix.27,xxi. 19, iS.i.3,2i,ii.i9. 


enough of going up to Jerusalem ! ' ^^ and established ac- 
cordingly a single Feast also in his kingdom, on the same day 
of the eighth month,^^' which time probably suited better the 
seasons in the north of Palestine. But such a direction as 
that before us, requiring on Divine authority the attendance 
of all male Israelites thrice a year at 'the place which 
Jehovah would choose' — in other words, in the Temple at 
Jerusalem — could only have been imagined in such an age as 
that of Josiah, when the Ten Tribes had been already carried 
into captivity, and the petty kingdom of Judah alone remained 
of the wide territories once ruled over by David and Solomon, 
so that almost all the people lived within a day's journey of 
the capital. 

I shall have yet something more to say about this Book of 
Deuteronomy. But let us consider for a moment what object 
the prophet must have had in view in laying down such an 
injunction as this. He hoped, no doubt, that, if the idolatrous 
altars were destroyed and the idolatrous symbols once swept 
out of the land, and if the people were required to worship 
three times a year in the Temple at the three great festivals, 
B.nd so were brought under the more direct influence of the 
pious priests and prophets who would surely be gathered 
around the Sanctuary, all would go well ; his countrymen 
would no longer be able to indulge unrestrained their evil 
propensities at the different high-places ; they would no 
longer desire to do so, being fed with Divine Truth from the 
central source — more especially if, according to one provision 
of this very Book, each king at his accession wrote for himself 
with his own hand a copy of this Law, ' that it might be with 
him and he might read in it all the days of his life,'''^ while 
another enjoins that every seventh year, in the solemnity of 
the Feast of Tabernacles, 'when all Israel is come to appear 

♦* 1K.xii.28. " ^-32,33. *^ D.xvii. 19, 


before Jehovah in the place which He shall choose, thou 
shalt read this Law before Israel in their hearing.''*® There is 
no sign that this direction was carried out even in Josiah's 
reign. And alas! Jeremiah must have been soon undeceived 
in his fond expectation. Priests and prophets, indeed, 
abounded in Jerusalem ; but they did not forward earnestly 
the work on which his own heart was set, the work of 
'Jehovah, the Elohim of Israel.' It is probable that the 
grosser forms of idolatry were not set up again in Judah after 
Josiah's Reformation. But the heart of the nation was still as 
foul as ever in the sight of their Heavenly King. Again and 
again Jeremiah says in his prophecies, * From the least of 
them even unto the greatest of them everyone is given to 
covetousness ; and from the prophet even unto the priest 
everyone dealeth falsely.'''^ He cries ' I have seen filthiness 
in the prophets of Jerusalem ; they commit adultery and walk 
in lies ; they strengthen also the hands of evildoers, that none 
doth return from his wickedness ; they are all of them unto 
me as Sodom, and its inhabitants as Gomorrah.'^° And he 
sums up all in one exceeding bitter cry — * The prophets 
prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means, and 
My people love to have it so ; and what will ye do in the end 
thereof .?'^^ It is plain that the whole nation was but as a 
whited sepulchre, made fair without by Josiah's cleansing, 
but inwardly still full of ' dead men's bones and of all un- 

And the lesson surely for our own times is thiS' — that it is 
not an outward show of religion which God desires of us, 
whether in the profession of creeds, the maintenance of 
dogmas, or the observance of ritual, but that singleness and 
sincerity of heart and faithfulness of daily life, which becomes 
the children of God, 'sons and daughters of the Lord. 

" D.xxxi. 10-13. '^,, rc7w/.ii.8,xxiii. 11. 

" Jer.xxiii. 14. *i Jer.Y.31. " Matt.xxiii.27. 


Almighty.'^^ There was ritual enough in our Saviour's time 
in Jerusalem, multitudinous sacrifices, cleansings, and washings 
• — many and long prayers, punctiliously performed in the 
Temple and at the corners of the streets — frequent fastings, 
solemn faces, phylacteries or portions of the Law fastened 
upon the forehead in literal fulfilment of the Deuteronomist's 
injunction.^'' There was plenty of orthodoxy — ' Behold ! thou 
art called a Jew, and restest in the Law, and makest thy 
boast of God, and knowest His Will, and approvest the 
things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the 
Law, and art confident that thou thyself art a guide of the 
blind, a light to them that are in darkness, an instructor of 
the foolish, a teacher of babes, who hast the form of know- 
ledge and of the truth in the Law.''^^ There was a grand 
outcry against blasphemers and heretics — above all against 
the holy Jesus and afterwards against his follower Paul. 
But the first says to them, ' Ye serpents ; ye generation 
of vipers ! how can you escape the damnation of hell ?' ; ^^ and 
the last charges them with causing the name of God to be 
blasphemed among the heathen by their impieties and immo- 
ralities.^^ Let us remember that daily and hourly ' the true 
worshippers may worship the Father in spirit and in truth,' ^^ 
amidst the duties of common life, as well as on Sundays and 
in the Sanctuary. Let us not be judging each his brother, 
but judge each himself, knowing that the watchwords of our 
faith are these — 'The Lord knoweth them that are His,' 
and *Let all that name the name of Christ depart from 
iniquity.' ^^ 

", 18. ",xi. 18, comp. E.xiii.9,16, due also to D. 

" Rom. ii, 17-20. '^ Matt.xxiii.33. " Rom.ii.21-24. 

*8 John iv.23. *» 2Tim.ii.i9. 



Mistaken notions about the Pentateuch may poison all our views of the 
Divine character ; the Ten Commandments, by vi^homsoever written, come to 
us at once with Divine authority, because in accordance with our moral and 
spiritual nature, all except that enjoining the observance of the Sabbath ; but 
the weekly rest also is Divinely indicated by the changes of the Moon, as 
yearly festivals, and especially the nightly rest, by the course of the Sun ; the 
Sabbath among the Hebrews, as among other nations, originated with obser- 
ving the Moon's phases ; the New Moon, as the first Sabbath of the month, 
honoured with larger sacrifices than the other Sabbaths, and always named 
first before the Captivity ; the fourth week in each month probably of uncer- 
tain length ; other commands in Deuteronomy repulsive to us as men and 
Christians, e.g. those which exclude mutilated persons and others from the 
Sanctuary, or enjoin perpetual hostility against the Moabitesand Ammonites ; 
the stoning of a rebellious son, the utter destruction of the Canaanites ; these 
last express only Jeremiah's strong feelings against his idolatrous countrymen j 
in other passages he teaches the Fatherly Love of God. 


N eminent living statesman has said — ' Every one 
truth is connected with every other truth in 
this great Universe of God. . . . Therefore to 
accept as a truth that which is not a truth .... 
is an evil having consequences which are indeed incalculable. 
There are subjects on which one mistake of this kind 
will poison all the wells of Truth, and affect with fatal 
error the whole circle of our thoughts.' ^ Nothing can be more 
true or can be more clearly and forcibly expressed. Mistaken 
notions, for instance, respecting the Mosaic origin and Divine 
authority of the Pentateuch may darken or confuse men's 
views of the Divine Character, and issue consequently in very 
serious faults and aberrations of the life — in bigotry, harsh- 
ness, and uncharitableness on the one hand, and on the other 
hand in laxity, irreverence, and immorality. The same 
writer adds, ^ This is among the most certain of all the laws of 
man's nature, that his conduct will in the main be guided by 
his moral and intellectual opinions.' ^ And the fact of the 
existence of this law in human nature is, in truth, the very 
justification of the work in which I am now engaged, which 
aims at the clearing away of much which has long been 

' Duke of Argyll (A*,?/;^;/ (7/ ZiZcesp. 54,55). '^ 1L,^^.\12, 


mistaken for Truth, but is no longer tenable as such, from the 
ground on which the * moral and intellectual opinions ' of 
multitudes have been formed. 

For let us consider some of the phenomena presented by 
the laws in Deuteronomy. The address of Moses begins, as 
I have said, with the Ten Commandments.^ We may assume 
that these, as they now lie before us, in two different copies 
varying from each other in some important particulars, 
especially in respect of the Fourth Commandment,'* were not 
really uttered by the Divine Voice on Sinai, since this is 
distinctly stated in the New Commentary, which may be 
fairly regarded as expressing the present views of the English 
Archbishops and Bishops on this point. Yet we feel at once 
that such commands as these * Honour thy father and thy 
mother,' * Thou shalt do no murder,' ' Thou shalt not commit 
adultery,' * Thou shalt not steal,' * Thou shalt not bear false 
witness,' * Thou shalt not covet,' are Divine laws, grounded in 
the very nature of our being, and, as such, they are approved 
by the noblest and best of all nations and religions, without 
any reference to the supposed revelation at Sinai. And so, 
too, wherever the religious life has made any considerable 
progress, the first three Commands, which enjoin a spiritual 
and reverential worship of the One True God, commend 
themselves to the conscience of each of us, as living words 
which God has spoken, not indeed amidst lightnings and 
thunderings, out of the thick darkness, but with the still small 
voice of His Spirit, and engraved — not upon stones, but — 
upon the tables of man's heart, where in the light vouchsafed 
by that Divine Spirit our spirits may plainly read them. And 
in like manner a little consideration will satisfy us that a 
Divine Sanction clearly enjoins the observance of a sabbath, 
of one day in seven, as a day of recreation, refreshment, and 

^ p. 149. * p. 101,102. 


rest, for the supply of our physical, moral, social, and religious 
needs as human beings. 

Thus we can no longer believe that the world was created 
in six days, with successive outward Divine utterances, as de- 
scribed in the first chapter of Genesis. Yet, for all this, and 
although the Hebrew writer had, no doubt, mistaken notions 
about the nature, magnitudes, and distances of the Sun, Moon, 
and Stars, he discerned the eternal, underlying truth, when he 
wrote, * and God said ' — said, not with audible voice on the 
fourth day, but said in the depth of the Divine Mind — ' Let 
there be lights in the firmament of heaven to divide the day 
from the night,' ^ and so He made the Sun to rule by day and 
the Moon the night,^ or, as the Psalmist says — 

* He appointed the Moon for seasons, 
The Sun knoweth his going down. 
Man goeth forth unto his work, 
And to his labour until the evening.' ' 

As a rule, then, there is a law laid upon us by our Wise and 
Good Creator, that we should wake and work by day, and 
rest and sleep at night — a law not meant to be enforced with 
rigid severity, as if we might never work by night or sleep by 
day — a law made known by a Gracious Father to intelligent 
children — a law made for man, not man for the law. The 
same Almighty Being, who ages ago, before man existed, pre- 
pared gigantic growths of vegetable matter, which, deposited 
through millions of years in primaeval swamps, have formed 
the coal-beds for the use of man — who provided the stores of 
lime and slate and stone, and the mineral wealth that lies 
deep buried in the bowels of the earth, with an express view 
to the wants of just such a creature as man — has ordered 
also the grateful interchange of light and darkness, of day 
and night — I say not, for man alone, but for the benefit of 
man among the rest. The law of daily toil and nightly rest 

5 G.i. 14. ^ z^. 16. ' rs.civ. 19,23. 


is to be our rule, our general guide ; though we are free, 
whenever we see sufficient reason for it, to depart from that 
law. We know, however, that, if we do depart from it con- 
stantly — if we turn day into night and night into day habit- 
ually, without something to compensate this breach of Nature's 
law — we shall suffer the evil consequences ; and those amuse- 
ments or occupations, which compel to any great extent a 
persistence in such habits, are almost sure to injure health and 
shorten the duration of life. ' God has spoken ' this word to 
our reason, as plainly as if He had uttered it with a loud voice 
in our hearing, that the day time shall, as a rule, be the time 
for labour, not only for individuals, but for social common 
work, for those employments which concern the whole com- 

And so it is with regard to the week and the weekly rest. 
We know by experience that men cannot go on for ever, day 
after day, wearied and worn by toil and the cares of business 
and the labours of public life — that they need intervals of 
rest besides the nightly sleep, by means of which the body 
may be restored and reinvigorated, and the mind recover its 
tone, and both may be ready to spring on cheerfully again to 
the work suspended. Nature herself points out to us certain 
annual seasons of more extended holiday, as at Mid-summer or 
Mid-winter, in the Spring, or after Harvest. Thus the Jews 
had their three annual festivals, in Spring, Summer, and 
Autumn ; and we find that among almost all nations, even the 
most barbarous, some such seasons are observed as times of 
very general relaxation from anxious thought and care, as 
well as of social meeting and enjoyment. 

But besides these greater annual festivals, marked out by 
the Sun, we need also — at all events in civilised communities, 
where there is such continual tension of the brain and 
drainage of the nervous power — the recurrence of days of rest 
at shorter intervals, for bodily or mental recreation, for family 


meetings and friendly greetings, and, above all, for common 
worship — rest, not enforced by positive law, but commended 
to us by the wise provisions of our Great Creator, and approved 
by experience as the source of infinite good to the whole 
community — the right of the poor man as well as the rich — as 
needful, in fact, for the wants of our complex nature as the 
rest by night after the daily toil. ' God has spoken ' to us 
this word also, that every seventh day shall be kept as a day 
of rest, not from the burning summit of Sinai, but, in His 
Fatherly Wisdom and Goodness, by the mere fact of ordering 
the changes of the moon for us, so that she completes each 
phase in seven days. I do not say that this is tJie reason — 
the only or the main reason — why this has been ordered thus. 
But I do say that we may thankfully believe that the changes 
of the Moon exist for this reason among others. As one has 
said, ' The phases of the Moon supply a familiar mark of time 
to the simplest and rudest nations — the phenomena of the 
New and Full Moon especially being such that men cannot 
fail to notice and employ them as the natural rule of their 
-calendar. And, if a twofold division of the month is thus a 
matter of necessity to an ordinary observation, a fourfold 
division is, at least, inevitably suggested by the Moon's inter- 
mediate phases. Thus we have the week of seven days.' ® 

That this was really the object of the weekly Sabbath among 
the Hebrews is plain from the fact that the New Moon was — 
at least in the older times —regarded by them as a more im- 
portant day than the ordinary Sabbath ; and, accordingly, in 
addition to the usual daily sacrifice, the Levitical Law pro- 
vides a 'burnt-offering' on the New Moon of 'two bullocks, 
one ram, and seven lambs,' with a kid for a sin-offering, 
whereas on the Sabbath the additional sacrifice was only a 
burnt-offering of * tw® lambs.' ^ The New Moon, in short, 

8 Ed.Rcview,c\\w. p. 545 ; see A^atal Sermons, I. p. 272,3, where passages are 
quoted from Hessey's Bampton Lectures & Cox's Literature of the Sabbath Question, 
* N.xxviii.9, 11,15. 


was the first Sabbath of the month, which was specially 
announced by trumpet sounds,^^ and gave the law, as it were, 
for the rest, the first,^^ eighth, fifteenth,^^ ^nd twenty-second,'^ 
days of every month being kept as days of rest, and the 
next Sabbath being the first of the following month; though, 
as the lunar changes are completed — not in 28, but — in 29I 
days, it would seem that the last week of the month must 
have contained sometimes eight and sometimes nine days, 
and probably lasted until the New Moon was seen. 
Hence the New Moon is always named first in connection 
with the Sabbath by the prophets before the Captivity, as 
where Isaiah says, * The New Moons and Sabbaths I cannot 
endure,' ''* or Hosea prophesies, ' I will cause all her mirth to 
cease, her Feast-days, her New Moons, and her Sabbaths,' '^ 
or Amos hears the people asking, * When will the New Moon 
be gone, that we may sell corn, and the Sabbath that we 
may set forth wheat ? ' '^ or the Shunammite's husband says to 
her, ' Wherefore wilt thou go to the prophet to-day ? It is 
neither New Moon nor Sabbath ? ' '^ It was only about the 
time of the Captivity'^ that greater stress was laid upon 
the observance of the Sabbath, as bringing the people to- 
gether for religious instruction and binding them in com- 
mon worship, and especially after it,'^ when their City and 
Temple lay in ruins and they lived as exiles in a heathen land ; 
and then we begin to find the Sabbath sometimes named 
first, ^^ as it always is in the still later days of the second 

It is not, then, because according to the traditionary 

"> " r<7w/.E.xl.2,i7, L.xxiii.24. 

" <r^^;?/.L.xxiii.6,7,34,35. " <r^;/7/.L.xxiii.8,36, aCh.vii. 10. 

>* Is.i.13. »5 Hos.ii.ii. '« Am.viii.5. " 2K.iv.23. 

•8 Jer.xvii. 19-27. '» Ez.xx. 12,13, 16,24, xxii. 8,23,26, xxiii.38, xliv.24. Is. 
lvi.2,4, Iviii. 13. 

2° Ez.xlvi.i,3, but see Ez.xlv. 17, Is.lxvi.23. 

^' lCh.xxiii.31, 2Ch.ii.4, viii. 13, xxxi.3, Neh.x.33. 


teaching these Ten Commandments are supposed to have 
been spoken by the Divine Voice on Sinai, that men's views 
of the Divine Character are in danger of being darkened — 
except so far as such teaching requires them also to beheve 
that the sole recipient of these awful revelations and of a 
multitude of others, attested and enforced by a series of stu- 
pendous miracles which produce very little or no effect, was 
one insignificant, rebellious, idolatrous tribe, as being God's 

* peculiar treasure above all people,' ^^ whom Jehovah ' had 

* chosen to be a special people for Himself above all peoples 
that are upon the face of the earth.' ^^ We can recognise these 
Ten Words as Divine laws, by whomsoever spoken or written. 
But there are other commands in this Book of the Law which 
we instinctively reject, because they are at variance with the 
laws of our moral being, because they conflict at once with 
the plain lessons of Christ's Gospel, and with those eternal 
principles of right and wrong, which the Creator Himself has 
planted within us, in respect of which we are made * In His 
image, after His likeness.' "^^ 

For instance, that Law of Justice and Equity, which God 
has written with His own Finger upon our hearts, contradicts 
such commands as that which excludes from the congrega- 
tion of Jehovah one mutilated, perhaps in helpless infancy, ^'^ 
while those who had done the deed were allowed free access 
to the Sanctuary, or which excludes in like manner an inno- 
cent base-born child,'^^ but takes no account of the vicious 
parents, or which bars all approach to the Temple against the 
Ammonites and Moabites for ever, because of some real or 
supposed unkindness on the part of their forefathers towards 
the ancestors of the Israelites when they came out of Egypt 
nearly a thousand years previously, and orders, * Thou shalt 
not seek their peace nor their prosperity all thy days for 

22 E.xix.S. 23 D.vii.6. ^4 G.i.26. -* D.xxiii. i. « D.xxiii.2. 



ever,' *^ — with other laws of a kindred nature. We feel that 
these cannot be regarded as utterances of the blessed Will of 
God — that the writer of them, though an inspired man, can- 
not certainly have written thus by Divine Inspiration ; and it 
is a relief to our consciences to be no longer compelled to re- 
ceive such commands as proceeding from Infinite Goodness 
and Wisdom, as guaranteed by Supreme Authority, as 
Divinely perfect, infallibly true. How much more when we 
find another law which orders that a * stubborn and rebellious 
son ' shall be stoned to death,^^ though no punishment is de- 
nounced against the parents, who perhaps by their own 
vicious example had corrupted, or by their weak and 
faulty training had ruined, their child, and others which en- 
join, * When Jehovah thy Elohim shall deliver these nations 
before thee, thou shalt smite them and utterly destroy them ; 
thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor show mercy unto 
them,' 2^ ' thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth, but 
thou shalt utterly destroy them.'^^ When these ferocious 
commands and others like them are ascribed to the Fountain 
of all loving-kindness, ' the God of the spirits of all flesh,' ^^ 
the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, our Father in Heaven, 
or to Moses speaking in His Name to His chosen people, we 
shudder and shrink away from the painful thought of such 
words revealing the Divine character to man. Were the Canan- 
ites idolaters } and what were the Israelites } Were they any 
better than the Canaanites ! Were they not worse, as they 
sinned against clearer light and knowledge, — if not amidst 
the Divine revelations supposed to have been imparted in the 
wilderness,^^ yet certainly amidst the warnings of those great 
prophets whom God had raised up from time to time among 
them } And does not this book of Deuteronomy say of them, 
' Jehovah hath not given you an heart to perceive, and eyes 

2^ D.xxui.3-6. 28 D.xxi. 18-21. 23 D.vii.2. 30 D.xx.16,17. 

^' N.xvi.22,xxvii. i6,Heb.xii.9. '- E.xxxii. i-6,N.xxv. 1-5. 


to see, and ears to hear, unto this day' ? ^3 Was it to protect 
a people like this from being corrupted by intermarrying with 
the heathen tribes around them, that the Holy One uttered 
such commands as these ? Or shall the All-Wise be char^red 
with such a shortsighted policy which was utterly frustrated 
in the result ? No ! our reason and conscience, our whole 
being, revolts from them ; we feel that we cannot worship 
with our whole heart and soul, we cannot adore and love, we 
can only fear and distrust, a Deity whose character is thus 
exhibited. And we turn with comfort and life-inspiring hope 
to him who said — * Love your enemies, bless them that curse 
you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which 
despitefuUy use you, and persecute you, that ye may be the 
children of your Father which is in Heaven.' ^* 

But, again, what a relief it is to know that here we have 
only the prophet Jeremiah, one of the most tender-hearted of 
men, making use of the tribes of Canaan as a warning for his 
own idolatrous countrymen, at a time when those tribes had 
for centuries ceased to exist, and setting forth the figure of 
them, driven out from their old abode, and ruthlessly exter- 
minated, as a sign of the doom which they deserved, and 
which most surely awaited them, if they too practised the like 
abominations. And so the rebellious son is only a type of 
that rebellious people of whom he says in Jehovah's Name, 
* I am a Father unto Israel and Ephraim is My firstborn,' ^^ 
yet who had * said to a stock. Thou art my Father, and to a 
stone, Thou hast brought me forth,' ^^ but whom he longed to 
bring back to the footstool of Divine Mercy, saying hence- 
forth, ' My Father, Thou art the guide of my youth.' ^^ 

When, therefore, we hear such words as these, ' Thou shalt 
also consider in thine heart that, as a man chasteneth his son, 
so the Living God, thy God, doth chasten thee,' ^^ we shall 

" D.xxix 4. " Matt.v.44,45. " Jer.xxxi.9. 8« Jer,ii.27. 

'" Jer.iii.4. '* D. viii.5. 

N 2 


joyfully welcome them as words of truth, not merely because 
we find them in the Bible, but because they are true, eternally 
true. For it is true that God loves us as dear children, and 
that we may go to Him at all times with a childlike trust and 
love, as with a childlike reverence and fear. Rather we must 
go to Him thus if we would please Him, acting upon the 
words of that dear Son who has taught us all to say ' Our 
Father.' We must * consider in our hearts ' that He who has 
planted in our breast, as human beings, dear love to our 
children, a love stronger than death, does by that very love 
of ours shadow forth to us His own Fatherly Love. Our 
love can take in every child of the family ; otir hearts can find 
a place for all ; yes, and our love embraces the far-off prodigal 
in his miserable wanderings, no less surely and no less 
tenderly than the dear obedient child, that sits by our side, 
rejoicing in the sweet delights of home. He who has taught 
us to love our children thus, how shall He not also love His 
children, with the Love in which the separate loves of earthly 
parents are blessed and find their full infinite expression — the 
Father's wisdom and firmness, to guide and counsel, or, if 
need be, to chasten — the Mother's tender pity and compas- 
sion, that will draw near with sweet consolations in each hour 
of sorrow and suffering, will sympathise with every grief and 
trial, will bow down to hear each shame-stricken confes- 
sion, will be ready to receive the first broken words of peni- 
tence, and whisper the promise of forgiveness and peace. 

Ah ! truly the little one may cling to its mother's neck, 
and the mother's love will feel the gentle pressure, and will 
delight to feel it : but it is not the feeble clinging of the child 
that holds it up to its mother's breast ; it is the strong arm 
of love that embraces it. And we, in our most earnest 
prayers and aspirations, in our cleaving unto God, in our 
longing and striving after Truth, in our * feeling after Him * 


who 'is not far from anyone of us,'^^ are but as babes 
* stretching out weak hands of faith' to lay hold of Him 
' whom no man hath seen or can see,' ^° but who, unseen, is 
ever near us, whose faithful Love embraces all His children, 
those that are far off as well as those that are near, the 
heathen and the Christian, the sinner as well as the saint. 
But it is not our knowledge, however clear, nor our faith, 
however firm and orthodox, nor our charity, however bright 
and pure, that holds us up daily and binds us to the bosom of 
our God. * Our Father ' will delight in all the sacred confi- 
dences of His children — their clingings of faith and hope — 
their longings of pure desire for a closer sense of His Pre- 
sence — their holy aspirations and penitential confessions. 
But it is not our prayer that will hold us up. It is His Love 
alone that does this. 

* The Eternal God is our refuge, 
And underneath are the Everlastincf Arms,' ^' 

•* Acts xvila;. *" i6. *' D.xxxiii.27, 



Recapitulation ; the very late age of the Levitical Legislation only recently 
ascertained ; innocent fictions of heathen and older Hebrew historians, in- 
cluding the Deuteronomist ; dishonest fictions of the priestly writers of the 
Pentateuch ; the Deuteronomist refers repeatedly to the Original Story, but 
nowhere to the Levitical Legislation ; he differs materially from that Legisla- 
tion by never speaking of the priests as sons of * Aarou, ' by making no dis- 
tinction between the priests and the Levites, by making a much smaller 
provision out of the sacrifices for fhe Levites officiating as priests, by classing 
the Levites generally with the needy and destitute, and not assigning to them 
the tithes and firstlings ; hence the Levitical Legislation was not known to 
the Deuteronomist (Jeremiah) ; some portions of it, apparently, were com- 
posed by Ezekiel, who has followed Jeremiah's example, and like him knows 
nothing of an Aaronic priesthood, but speaks of the priests as ' Levites, sons 
of Zadok ; ' petty ritualism enforced by still later priestly writers ; meaning of 
the desire of man's heart for the priestly office ; the priesthood of Christ and 
his true followers. 



E have now considered the composition of the 
Pentateuch, so far as concerns, first, the oldest 
portions in Genesis and Exodus, the foundation 
of the whole story, written probably in the age of 
Samuel, in which the name * Elohim,' God, is used always 
for the Deity to the exclusion of 'Jehovah,' and which, when 
taken out by themselves, are found to form a continuous 
narrative — then the copious additions and amplifications in 
the days of David and Solomon, in which the name Jehovah 
is used, and which together with the former made up the 
Original Story, as it came into the hands of the Deuterono- 
mist, — and, lastly, the Deuteronomistic passages and the 
greater part of Deuteronomy itself, introduced about four 
centuries afterwards, in the age, and most probably by the 
hand, of Jeremiah. There still remains, however, the Leviti- 
cal Legislation, filling about one half of the Pentateuch, which 
has had so important a part in establishing the priestly 
system, first in the Jewish and then in the Christian Church. 
It has been the special work of the last few years to have 
solved the question as to when this portion of the Pentateuch 
was written ; and the result is one of the utmost interest 
and importance, not only as regards the history of religious 


development in Israel, but in its bearing upon the ritualistic 
movement of our own times. 

In the historical passages of the Original Story we find 
only the result of an innocent and praiseworthy attempt to 
dress up in a pleasing and instructive style the early traditions 
of the Hebrew people, with all the aid of poety and fiction, 
such as have been employed abundantly by the greatest 
writers of Greece and Rome, by Homer and Herodotus, 
Virgil and Livy, in their histories of primitive times. Their 
works are the delight and admiration of all ages, and they 
have never brought upon the writers the reproach of dis- 
honesty, however inconsistent with the actual facts we are 
v^ery sure their statements must often be. But, in putting 
forth such statements, they had no intention to deceive ; 
they were ignorant themselves of the real course of events, 
and they were known to be so : they did but collect and em- 
bellish the ancient myths and legends which existed in their 
days, expanding these scanty data out of their own imagina- 
tions, and so building up a circumstantial narrative, with 
events, addresses, conversations. Divine and human, accom- 
panied at times with sage remarks, according to their light, 
upon the moral bearing of the incidents recorded. 

Just so with the early writers of Hebrew History. They 
knew nothing certainly about those ancient times of their 
forefathers, except the great facts that their nation had once 
been in a servile condition in Egypt, and had escaped from 
that slavery and after painful wanderings had found their way 
to Canaan, and there by degrees had made themselves 
masters of the land — which facts, with others like them, had 
come down by tradition from sire to son through the two 
or three centuries which had elapsed from the Exodus to 
Samuel's time. In the course of a very few generations the 
details of this march and of the conquest must have been lost 
among a people who were living in a rude state as separate 


tribes, and were probably little exercised in writing before the 
age of Samuel and his schools. But for the arts of writing and 
printing what should wc know, as Englishmen, about the de- 
tails of Queen Elizabeth's reign, about the part, for instance, 
which this or that hero took in the defeat of the Great 
Armada, unless perhaps some song or ballad had preserved 
the memory of the gallant deed for future ages? Upon such 
data, however, Samuel and his immediate followers — very 
probably students in his schools — appear to have built up the 
Original Story of the Exodus very much out of their own im- 
aginations, with the help of ancient myths, such as those of 
the Creation, the Fall, and the Deluge, and legends attached 
to the names of famous persons and places or to those of 
sacred stones and trees, which legends, however, seem for the 
most part to have originated with the writers themselves, 
suggested by the mere existence of the names in question. 
Still, in all this there was no dishonesty or deceit : we have 
no reason whatever to suppose that they even pretended that 
what they wrote was veracious history : they may have put 
forth their narrative from the first as a mere work of the im- 
agination. It is the men of later days who have insisted 
upon regarding these stories as actual history, with all theii 
astounding contradictions of the plainest facts of Natural 
Science and their agglomeration of stupendous miracles. 

So, too, the attempt of Jeremiah, as we suppose, to infuse 
a more religious character into the Older Story, by the 
insertion of passages written in his own spirited, prophetical 
style, and by the addition of almost the whole Book of 
Deuteronomy as a kind of commentary on the older law, can 
be perfectly reconciled, as we have seen, with good faith on 
his part, and with a high and noble motive, more especially 
when we take into account the habits of his people. In our 
days few pious persons would presume to ascribe directly to 
the Supreme Being the thoughts w ith which their own bosoms 


were stirred, though fully believing themselves to be under 
the influence of the Divine Teacher of men. But a Jewish 
prophet like Jeremiah would have said at once, ' Thus saith 
Jehovah,' if any idea presented itself to his mind with 
overpowering force as unquestionably right and good and 
true. Hitherto, therefore, we have had nothing to which the 
terms 'forger' and 'forgery' can bejustly applied, which have 
been freely used by some defenders of traditionary views,' to 
raise a prejudice in their readers' minds against the con- 
clusions of Modern Criticism. 

But hitherto we have only had to deal with prophetical 
writers, or with men, like Jeremiah, in whom the prophetical 
entirely overpowered the priestly element. We come now 
upon the domain of the priest. And here, if anywhere, such 
words may with some justice be applied ; for there can be 
little room for doubt, with any who will take the pains to 
study thoroughly the subject, that the whole of the Levitical 
Legislation of the Pentateuch was written by priestly writers 
during or after the Captivity, and written, most of it, with the 
direct purpose of magnifying their own office and asserting 
their own special rights and prerogatives. The first clear hint 
which we get of this fact is derived from a close consideration 
of the Address of Moses, which formed the Book of the Law 
as found in the Temple by Hilkiah. In this, or rather in 
D.i-xxx, we find numerous allusions to the Original Story of 
the Exodus — to Jacob's going down into Egypt 'a Syrian 
ready to perish,' with only * a few,' ^ i.e. seventy persons,^ — 
where Israel became ' a nation, great, mighty, and populous ' ^ 
— to the Egyptians afflicting the Israelites,'^ who cried unto 
Jehovah, and He 'looked upon their affliction,'''— to the 

' e.g. Bp, Browne, New Bible Commentary, 'z. forger,' p. 12, 17,20, 196,227, 
229,232, 'any skilful y&r^^r,' 'who have been fixed upon as ^xohiiXA^ forgers of 
the Pentateuch, such as Samuel or Jeremiah,' p. 18, &c. 

2 xxvi.5, comp. E.i. I. 3 X.22, comp. E.i.5. 

*,x.22,xxvi.5,xxviii. 62, comp. E.i. 7,9, 12,20. 

* xxvi.6, comp. E.i. 11, 13,34, vi. 9. « xxvi.7, comp. E.ii.23-25,iii.7,9,iv.3I. 


promise made to their fathers of the land of Canaan,^ and the 
* deHvcrance of Israel out of Egypt with signs and wonders * 
wrought upon ' Pharaoh and all his house,' ^ — to the flight out 
of Egypt * in haste,' ^ ' by night in the month of Abib,' ^^ and 
the drowning of the Egyptians in the Red Sea,'' — to the 
provocations of JEHOVAH in the wilderness,^^ the mur- 
murings,'^ the rebellion,'"* — to the manna,'^ the Golden Calf,"" 
the fiery serpents,'^ — to the attack of Amalek,'^ the leprosy 
of Miriam,'^ the destruction of Dathan and Abiram,^^ the 
prophecies of Balaam, ^' — in short, to a multitude of 
incidents which show that the writer must have been well 
acquainted with the Original Story very much in its present 
form. It may have been preserved in the Temple, or in the 
hands of some of the priests, from the time of Solomon down- 
wards, and may have thus been seen and studied by Jeremiah, 
as being himself a priest, perhaps the son of the high-priest of 
Josiah's time. However this may be, certain it is that the 
Original Story must have existed in his time, and that he 
must have been familiar with it. 

How, then, can we account for the fact that, amidst all 
these numerous references, there does not occur in D.i-xxx 
one single allusion to any of the historical incidents or 
precepts specially recorded in the Levitical Legislation ? 
He mentions the Ark indeed, ^^ but that is mentioned in the 
Original Story : ^^ he does not mention the splendid Taber- 
nacle, built (it is supposed) by express Divine instructions, 
after the model which was shown to Moses in the Mount.^* 

' vi. io,i8,&c.,r^w/,&c. ' vi.2i,22,&c., f^w/. E.vii,&c. 

» xvi.3, comp. E.xii, 33,39. '° xvi.i, comp. E.xiii.4,xxxiv.i8. 

" xi.4, comp. E.xiv.27,28. ^"^ ix.7, cotnp. E.xiv. ii,xvii.3,&c. 

" ix.22, comp. N.xi. 1-3,31-34. '* ix.23, comp. N.xiv.i,&c. 

'* viii.3, 16, comp. N.xi. 4-9. '® ix. 8-2 1, 25-29, comp. E.xxxii. 

'^ viii.15, comp. N.xxi.6. '* xxv.17-19, comp. E.xvii.8 16. 

'* xxiv.9, comp. N.xii. " xi.6, comp. N.xvi. 25-33. 
2' xxiii.4,5, comp. N.xxii-xxiv. 
« D.x.i-5,8,xxxi.9,25,26. " N.x. 33,35, xiv.44. 24 E.xxvi.30. 


He mentions Aaron,^'^ but only in connexion with his 
scandalous conduct, as related in the Original Storyj^*^ in 
respect of the Golden Calf, the symbol of the Sun-God, 
which Aaron had made for Israel to worship. He never 
speaks of him as * priest ' and the head of the priesthood : 
he never calls the priests the ' sons of Aaron,' as they are 
invariably called in the Levitical Law ; he calls the priests 
always ' Levites ' ^7 or ' sons of Levi.' ^^ But the Levitical 
Legislation everywhere sharply distinguishes between the 
* priests, the Sons of Aaron,' and the * Levites,' ^^ and makes 
Moses rebuke indignantly the 'sons of Levi' for aspiring 
to act as priests, saying, * Seek ye the priesthood also } ' ^^ 
and it lays down the law that no one, * who was not of the 
seed of Aaron, should come near to offer incense before 
Jehovah, that he be not as Korah the Levite and his 
company,' ^^ who were struck dead by lightning for having 
presumed to do so.^^ Accordingly, whereas the Deuter- 
onomist says that ' the whole tribe of Levi ' was * separated 
to stand before JEHOVAH to miiiister unto Him, and to bless 
in His Name,' ^^ the Levitical Law reserves these offices 
exclusively for the priests,*"^^ and orders that the Levites 
shall be only the servants of the priests, shall ' stand before 
Aaron the priest that they may minister nnto him,' ^'' — that 
Aaron and his sons shall keep their priesthood, and any 
stranger that cometh near, whether layman or Levite, shall 
be put to death,' ^^ — that the Levites shall not even ' go in to 
see when the holy things are covered by the priests,' ^7 or 

-'^ I\ix.20. N.B. X.67, is probably a fragment of the O.S., out of its proper 
place, except the last clause of v.6, which belongs to the Levitical Legislation 
(L.L.), as does also D.xxxii. 48-52. ^6 E.xxxii. 1-6,21-25. 

2^ D.xvii.9, i8,xviii. i,xxiv.8,xxvii.9, co}?ip. xviii.6,7,xxvii. I4,xxxi.25, where 
also • Levite' = ' priest.' ^^ D.xxi.5,xxxi.9. 

29 E.xxxviii.2i,xxxix.4i, L.i.5,7,8,&c., viii.2,&c.,N.iii.3,4,9,io,&c. 

80 3' z'.40. ^2 ^,3^, 33 D.X.8. 

s^ E.xxviii. 1,3,35,43, 83 N.iii.5-10, viii, I9,xviii. 1-6. 

80 N.iii. io,38,xviii.7. 87 N.iv. 15, 19,20. 


* come near to the holy vessels and the altar,' ^^ ' lest they 

Moreover, the Deuteronomist makes certain provisions for 
the maintenance of these ' priests the sons of Levi ' : but 
these are entirely at variance with those in the Levitical Law. 
Thus he directs that all the Lcvitcs — ' the zuhole tribe o{\^^v\ ' 
— shall cat the * fire-offerings of Jehovah,' ^^ and that any 
Levitc, coming ' with all the desire of his mind ' to 
minister at the Sanctuary, should ' have like portions with the 
rest of his brethren, who stood there before Jehovah to 
minister,' ^° that is, should ' have like portions ' with the other 
Levites who officiated there as priests. But in the Levitical 
Law these ' fire-offerings ' are expressly assigned to the * sons 
of Aaron the priests ' ; '^^ whereas the Levites were to receive 
merely the tithes of corn, wine, and oil,''^ and of these they 
were to give a tithe to the priests.'*^ Also the Deuteronomist 
defines these 'fire-offerings' — that is to say, the portions 
which the priests might claim of the sacrifices — as the 
shoulder, the two cheeks (or head), and the maw (or tripe- 
stomach) ; ^^ whereas the Levitical Law makes a much more 
sumptuous provision, namely, the breast and hind-leg of 
every victim,"*'^ together with all the firstfruits of corn, and 
wine, and oiV^ and all the firstlings of sheep and oxen.'*'^ 
Once more the Deuteronomist classes the Levites repeatedly, 
not only with ' the manservant and the maidservant,' but, as 
being generally poor and needy, with ' the stranger, the 
widow, and the fatherless,' '*^ who should be charitably 
invited to share in the feasts which pious Israelites were 
commanded to make for their families annually at the Sanc- 
tuary,''^ upon the titJies of corn, and wine, and oil, and the 

"8 N.xviii.3. 39 D.xviii. I. « z^.6-8. 

*' L.ii.3,io,vi.i7,i8,vii.5,&c.,3i-35,x.i4,i5,xxiv.9. « N.xviii.21,24. 

" 7^.25-28. '•* D.xviii.3. 

^* E.xxix.26,28, L.vii.31,34, N.xviii.18. '•6 N.xvii.i2, 13. 

*' z/. 15-18. '•'* xii. 12, i8,xiv.29,xvi.ll,i4,xxvi. 11,12, 13. 

*^ xii. Ii,i2,i7-i9,xiv.22-27,xxvi. 12, 13. 


firstlings of sheep and oxen,^^ and once in three years upon 
the tithes at home ^^ — ' and the Levite that is within thy 
gates, thou shalt not forsake him,' * the Levite and the 
stranger and the fatherless and the widow, that are within thy 
gates, shall come and shall eat and be satisfied.' ^^ But the 
Levitical Law, as we have just seen, assigns these very tithes 
wholly to the Levites and these firstlings wholly to the 
priests ; and, though the New Bible Commentary invents a 
' second ' set of ' tithes ' to explain these contradictions, 
which should be expressly used for such feasts, the 'first 
tithes ' having been duly paid to the Levites,^^ it does not 
venture to suggest a second set of ' firstlings.' From all this 
it is plain that the Deuteronomist could never have had before 
him the Levitical Law, as part of a Mosaic and Divine dis- 
pensation, prefaced everywhere by the announcement ' And 
Jehovah said to Moses ' ^^ — that, in other words, no such 
Levitical Law existed at all in his time. It must have been 
inserted in later days, after the time of Jeremiah, that is, 
during or after the Captivity. 

Accordingly it is found that some portions of the Book of 
Leviticus, as L.xviii-xx, and especially L.xxvi, betray un- 
mistakably the hand of Ezekiel, who was one of the priests 
carried captive to Babylon with Josiah's grandson Jehoiachin.^^ 
The captive Jews in the district of Babylon had perhaps 
referred to the priest Ezekiel for instruction on certain points ; 
or he may have thought it good to lay down a number ol 
precepts, partly ceremonial, partly moral and religious, as 
necessary to be observed by them, if they would still remain 
in that far-off land true servants of their Heavenly King ; and 
accordingly he does this in L.xviii-xx. But Ezekiel was a 
prophet as well as a priest, and in L.xxvi he gives a grand 
prophetical warning, containing a number of his own peculiar 

^ xii.6,i7,xiv.23. ^i xiv.28,29,xxvi. 12, 13. " xiv.27,29. " I-P-797- 
'* E.xxv. i,xxx.ii,i7,22,34,&c. " Ez.i.2,3. 



expressions, wl>ich all occur again in Ezckiel's prophecies, but 
of which eighteen are found nowhere else in the Pentateuch.^® 
It has been said indeed that Ezekiel may have derived these 
phrases from the Book of Leviticus, which he had devoutly- 
read. But it is idle to suppose that a writer so profuse and 
so peculiar, as this prophet is on all hands acknowledged to 
be, should have studied so closely — not the whole Book of 
Leviticus, but — this 07ie particidar chapter out of the whole 
Pentateuch (L.xxvi), as to have become thoroughly imbued 
with its style and to have made its very language his own. 
Rather, he had before him the grand words of his brother 
prophet Jeremiah in D.xxviii, xxxii, from which, in fact, he 
quotes some expressions in this chapter,"" as he does also in 
his prophecies ; ^^ and after Jeremiah's example, though not 
with the same rhetorical power, he launches against his 
countrymen threats of Divine vengeance if they persist in 
their idolatry and disobedience, mingled with promises of 
good if they are faithful, and ending with a pledge of final 
restoration. And it is very noticeable that Ezekiel the priest, 
like Jeremiah the priest, never speaks in his prophecies of the 
priests as ' sons of Aaron,' nor even once mentions Aaron as 
the supposed head of his own priestly order ; from which it is 
clear that in their time this title did not exist — much less 

" V. 16, 'consumption, fever,' r^;;//. D.xxviii.22 ; z^. 16, 'consuming the eyes 
and causing sorrow of heart,' r^w/. D.xxviii. 65 ; Z'. 16, 'and ye shall sow your 
seed in vain and your enemies shall eat it,' comp. D.xxviii. 33, 51 ; 'and ye shall 
be smitten before your enemies,' r^w/. D.xxviii. 7,28 ; 2^.19, 'and I will make 
your heaven as iron and your land as brass,' comp. D.xxviii.23 '■> ^-21, 'and I will 
add plagues upon thee,' comp. D.xxviii. 59,61 ; v.i^j, 'and ye shall eat the fle.^h 
of your sons and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat,' comp. D.xxviii. 53, &c. ; 
z'.S, 'and five of you shall chase an hundred, and an hundred of you shall chase 
ten thousand,' comp. D. xxxii. 30. 

" comp. Ez.v. lowith D.xxviii.53-57 — Ez.v. I2,xx.23,xxii. 15, with D.xxviii.64 
— Ez.v.14,15, with D.xxviii. 37 — Ez.xiv.8, 'and I will make him a sign and a 
proverb,' xxii.4,xxxvi.3, with D.xxviii. 37 — Ez.v. 16, 17, with D.xxii.23,24 — Er, 
vii.i5with D. xxxii. 25 — Ez.vii.26 with D.xxxii.23 — Ez.viii.3, 'which piovcketh 
to jealousy,' with D. xxxii. i6,2l — Ez.xvi. 13, 15, with D. xxxii. 13-15. 



exist as one Divinely originated. They both speak of the 
priests as * Levites ' or * sons of Levi ' ; ^^ and, when Ezekiel 
wishes to distinguish between the great body of the Levites 
who had taken part in idolatrous rites before the Captivity 
and those who had adhered to the pure worship of JEHOVAH, 
he calls the latter * the priests the sons of Zadok among the 
sons of Levi,' ' the priests the Levites who are of the seed of 
Zadok! 'the priests the Levites the sons of Zadok' 'the 
priests who are sanctified of the sons of Zadok, who kept My 
charge, who went not astray when the children of Israel went 
astray, as the Levites went astray ' ^° — from which also we see 
that the idea of the Aaronic priesthood, as laid down in the 
Levitical Law, must have been of a later date than the days 
of Ezekiel. 

But the example thus set was followed in a very different 
spirit by those who composed the great mass of the Levitical 
Law, abounding with minute directions for ritualistic and 
ceremonial observances, and enjoining the utmost reverence 
for the Sanctuary, and also for the priest as alone privileged 
to enter the holy place and draw near to the symbol of 
Jehovah's presence. And so they 'bound heavy burdens 
and grievous to be borne, and laid them on men's shoulders,' 
while the weightier matters of the Law, on which such stress 
is laid in the Book of Deuteronomy, justice, mercy, and 
truth, are almost wholly passed by in this priestly Legislation. 
In this Law, for instance, mere natural occurrences are classed 
as offences for which a sacrifice must be offered — ^always, of 
course, to the advantage of the priest who had his share of it 
— such as child-birth,^^ leprosy,^^ &c., or trivial acts of inad- 
vertence by which some ceremonial defilement may have been 
incurred,^^ it being ordained, for instance, that anyone who 

" Jer.xxxiii. 18,21,22, Ez.xl.46,xliii. I9,xliv. I5,xlviii. 13. 

*" Ez.xl.46,xliii, I9,xliv. I5,xlviii. ii. 

«' L.xii.8. «2 L.xiv.19. " L. XV. 14,29. 


touched, without even knowing it, a dead mouse, lizard, mole, 
or snail, should be * unclean until the evening,' '''* that anyone 
who ate turtle should be an * abomination,' ^-^ that any vessel 
of wood, raiment, skin, or sack, over which a snail had 
crossed or a mouse had run, should be unclean,^'' and every 
earthen vessel so defiled should be broken/'^ It need hardly 
be said that all distinctions between right and wrong must 
have been confounded in the writer's mind and in that of his 
fellow-priests who enforced or tried to enforce such teaching, 
and in that of the laity who received it as the Word of the 
Living God. 

Yet in all ages, wherever this priestly power, with its claim 
to discharge the office of mediator between God and man, has 
become the supposed possession of a class of men, who could 
use it to admit their fellows to religious privileges or else to 
debar them from them, whether those of the Jewish Church or 
of the Christian, * casting out,' as they of old cast out the 
man who confessed that Jesus was the Christ,^® or rejecting 
for doctrinal differences the true in heart and life from the 
common feast of Christians, — who claimed not only to receive 
into the number of God's children, but to exclude from the 
care and love of the Universal Father,-— the real profaneness 
of the assumption has not prevented the power thus arrogated 
being allow^ed by very many, and the supposition that it can 
exist elsewhere than in the imagination of the priest himself 
and his disciples has been a heavy chain upon the progress of 

Still the thirst of man's heart for the office of the priest, 
which has been exhibited, more or less, in all times, in all 
places, under all religions, must have some real meaning. 
And indeed that office derives its significance and power from 
the deepest of all the instincts of humanity, the craving to 

^* L.xi.29-31. " -'.29,43. ^^ ^^.32. 

*" J'. 33. *" John ix. 22-34. 

o 2 


know something about Him who is exalted above all blessing 
and praise, to be brought into the fuller consciousness of His 
Presence, to have some sure hope of His Favour, at least, of 
His Pity, to be able to believe that the utterance of our 
hearts reaches His Ear, our song of adoration and thanks- 
giving, or our moan of regret and self-abhorrence. The voice 
of a fellow-mortal, who claims to have some assurance of 
these things to offer, is too welcome to the longing spirit or to 
the sick and wear}'- soul, not to be welcomed. It is not for 
us to judge our brother who may find the priestly office a 
stay and support for his tottering steps along the way of life. 
It is enough if we remember for ourselves that this is the 
true priestly function, when one who is more spiritually 
minded than his brethren, more pure in heart, more faithful 
in life, who has thus been brought more near to God than 
they, confirms their faith and quickens their love and holy 
fear by sympathy with his own — even as he, the great high- 
priest of our profession,^^ by his blessed teaching has brought 
us all near to God,^^ and by the ministrations of his Father's 
Love in life and death has opened for us the way of access 
with boldness to His Presence ^^ — even as we too, in our dif- 
ferent relations, may day by day reveal the Father to each 
other, by the spirit of Christ which abides in us, the filial spirit 
of trust and loving obedience, and help to bring one another 
near to His Footstool, in accordance with that word, ' One is 
your Father, even God ; one is your Master, even Christ ; 
and all ye are brethren.' '^ 

"3 Heb.iii.i. " Rom.v.2, Eph,u.i8,iii.i2. 

" Heb.xii. 19-22. " Matt.xxlii.8,9. 



The account of the Mosaic Tabernacle, &c., part of the priestly legislation ; 
in the O. S. the Tent of Meeting is set up for religious purposes outside the 
Camp, under the charge of a layman, Joshua ; in the L. L. the Tabernacle is 
set up in the ce?ttre of the Camp, under the chai-ge of the whole body of 
priests and Levites ; in the O. S. Jehovah descends in the pillar of cloud, and 
speaks with Moses at the entrance of the Tent ; in the L. L. Jehovah speaks 
from off the mercy-seat in the innermost recess of the Tabernacle ; in the O.S. 
the Ark goes before the people ; in the L. L. it is carried in the middle of the 
host ; these differences occur in various parts of the O.S., which fomis by 
itself a connected story from Exodus to Joshua ; the L. L. brings forward into 
special prominence Aaron and his priesthood ; the O.S. nowhere speaks of 
him as priest, but treats him merely as a colleague of Moses, as does also the 
poplet Micah, whereas the very late Books of Chronicles, &c., follow the 
lead of the L. L. ; the priestly interpolations in the story of Dathan and 
Abiram, which contained originally no mention of Korah and his rebellion 
against Aaron, as appears from Deuteronomy ; the probable historical meaning 
of this narrative in its older and later forms ; the tendency to take refuge in 
ritualism from the power of truth exemplified in Israel after the Captivity and 
in our own times. 


E have been considering the evidence afforded of 
the very late origin of the Levitical Law, by the 
mode in which the Deuteronomist treats the 
question of the priesthood, showing that that Law 
with its phrase, ' the sons of Aaron ' instead of ' the sons of 
Levi,' and its far more Hberal provision for the support of the 
priests and Levites, could not have been known to him, or, in 
other words, could not have been composed till after his time, 
during or after the Captivity.' 

Let us turn now to another no less convincing proof of 
this fact. You will remember the account in the Book of 
Exodus of Moses going up into the Mount with Joshua,^ and 
remaining there in communion with JEHOVAH for forty days 
and forty nights ^ — at the end of which it is added, ' And He 
gave unto Moses, when He had made an end of communing 
with him on Mount Sinai, two tables of stone, tables of the 
Testimony, written with the finger of Elohim.''' And this 
notice is immediately preceded by six chapters, which con- 
tain minute directions, said to have been communicated by 
Jehovah to Moses, for the construction of the Tabernacle 


E.xxiv. 13-15. 

E.xxxi. 18. 


and its vessels.^ Was this a portion of the Original Story, or 
was it introduced as part of these later insertions .^ That 
Tabernacle was to be a gorgeous Tent, with magnificent 
curtains,^ golden taches,' silver sockets,* and bars overlaid 
with gold,^ and a hanging for the door of * blue and purple 
and scarlet and fine twined linen, wrought with needlework.' '° 
But, if this was to be the case, how was it that in Eli's time 
the House of God at Shiloh, supposed to have been this very- 
same Mosaic Tent, which had been set up at that place by 
Joshua,'^ when 'the land had rest' after the conquest of 
Canaan,^2 \^^^ < doorposts ' ^^ and * doors ' ? ^^ Or how was it, if 
this splendid Tabernacle was still in existence, that the Ark, 
when brought back by the Philistines after the death of Eli, 
was not restored at once to it, as the place expressly provided 
by Jehovah Himself for its reception, but was allowed to re- 
main for twenty years or more in the house of a private in- 
dividual, whose son was 'sanctified to keep it' *^ —apparently 
a mere layman, or, if a Levite, as some suppose, yet as such 
strictly forbidden by the Levitical Law to touch or even to 
look upon the Ark on pain of death } ^^ How was it again 
that when David brought up the Ark to Jerusalem, instead of 
bringing with it the gorgeous Tabernacle, he himself erected 
a Tent for it on Mount Zion ? '^ All these phenomena make 
it plain that no such Tabernacle ever really existed, and that 
this portion also of Exodus is no part of the Original Story, 
but has been inserted by later writers ; and accordingly we find 
that two of these six chapters are mainly employed in de- 
scribing the dresses of the priests and the ceremonies to be 
used at their consecration.'^ 

A further consideration will leave no doubt on this point. 
We are told that, as Moses came down from the Mount with 

* E.xxv-xxxi. 


« E.xxvi. 


« V.6. 8 e'. 19-25. 

'« Z'.29. 

" Z'.T,l. 

'2 J.xviii. I. 

'^ iS.i.9. " 1S.iii.15. 

'* iS.vii.i,2. 

'« N.iv. 15,20. 


'* E.xxviiijxxix. 


the two stone-tables in his hand, he beheld the Golden Calf 
and the people dancing around it, and in anger and horror at 
the sight he dashed the tables out of his hands and broke 
them in pieces.^'-^ Then the Levites at his summons — that is, 
the men of his own tribe "^^ — rush through the Camp of Israel 
from one end to the other, slaughtering all they meet. ' And 
there fell of the people that day about three thousand men. 
For Moses had said, Consecrate yourselves to-day to Jehovah, 
even every man upon his son and upon his brother, that He 
may bestow upon you a blessing this day.' ^^ What that 
blessing most probably was we shall consider hereafter.^^ But 
now Moses intercedes for the people, and after being plagued 
they are forgiven ; ^^ at all events, the order is issued for the 
forward march to Canaan. ^^ Then follows this remarkable 
passage : — * And Moses took the tent, and pitched it outside 
the Camp, a little way off from the Camp, and it was called 
[the Tabernacle of the Congregation, or rather, as it should 
be more properly rendered,'^'^] the Tent of Meeting. And it 
came to pass that everyone seeking JEHOVAH went out unto 
the Tent of Meeting which was outside the Camp. And it 
came to pass, when Moses went out of the Camp, that all the 
people arose, and they stood each at the opening of his tent, 
and they looked after Moses until he went into the Tent. 
And it came to pass, when Moses had gone into the Tent, 
that the pillar of cloud came down and stood at the opening 
of the Tent, and He spake with Moses. And all the people 
saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance of the Tent ; 
and all the people arose and worshipped, each at the 
entrance of his tent. And JEHOVAH spake unto Moses face 
unto face, as a man speaketh unto his friend ; and he re- 
turned unto the Camp, and his servant Joshua, a young man, 
departed not out of the Tent.' ^^ 

•3 E.xxxii. 15-19. 20 E.ii.i-io. ^i E.xxxii.26 29. « Lect.XVH. 

2' E.xxxiii.i. " i?. CM. p. 382, 4 1 0,432. ^e E.xxxiii.7-ll. 


Now here we have several things to notice. This tent, 
which Moses pitched outside the Camp, was, of course, not 
the Tabernacle, which (according to the story as it now lies 
before us) he had only just been instructed to make, and 
which, in fact, he makes in a subsequent chapter. '^^ But it is 
here called ' the tent,' as if it were a tent well known to the 
people, that is, as the New Commentary explains it, * very 
probably the one in which Moses was accustomed to dwell,' ^* 
and to which the people may be supposed to have resorted 
before, for judicious and religious purposes.*^ This tent he 
now sets apart for sacred uses, and calls it the ' Tent of 
Meeting,' the very name by which, in those preceding chapters 
the splendid Tabernacle, presently to be built, is called re- 
peatedly by Jehovah Himself,^*' expressly because there He 
would 'meet with Israel/ ^^ It would be strange if Moses in 
the Original Story had taken upon himself to anticipate thus 
the erection of this Divinely-ordered Tabernacle, and had 
given this very same name to an ordinary tent. Plainly the 
fact is, that in those six chapters the later writer has merely 
copied the name already used in the passage just quoted from 
the Original Story. 

But where is Aaron .? or where is there any sign of the ex- 
istence of priests in this passage t True, Aaron and his sonb 
had not yet been consecrated.^^ But they had been already 
designated for the sacred office ; ^^ and we might have ex- 
pected that they would have been overshadowed, as it were, 
with their coming glory, so that Aaron or one of his four sons, 
or, at least, a body of Levites, would have been appointed 
to keep continual watch in this sacred tent, rather than Joshua, 
a mere laymaii^^ ' a young man, the servant of Moses.' ^^ 

" E.xxxvi. 28 B.C.\.^.\\o. 29 E.xviii.7,12,13. 

'" E.xxvii.2i,xxviii.43,xxix.4, 10, ii,30,32,42,44,xxx. 16, i8,2o,36,xxxi.7. 
3> E. xxix. 42,43, xxx. 36. ^-^ L.viii. •'»» E.xxviii.i. 

" N.xiii.8. 35 E.xxxiii.ii. 


But here also we have the Original Story, which knew nothing 
of any such extraordinary dignity now or hereafter to be 
attached to Aaron or to the priests ' the sons of Aaron.' 

Again, this tent is set up outside the Camp, and all who 
desired to enquire of JEHOVAH went out to it. But the 
splendid Tabernacle was to be set up in the very viiddlc of the 
Camp, the three Levite families being posted on three sides 
of it, on the north, south, and west,^^ and Moses himself, with 
Aaron and his sons, on the east,^^ and outside these the twelve 
tribes ranged in four great camps,^® the whole forming appa- 
rently one immense square, with the Tabernacle in the 

Once more, in this passage JEHOVAH descends in the pillar 
of cloud and stands at the opening of the Tent, and there 
speaks with Moses. But in the preceding chapters JEHOVAH 
promises that He will commune with Moses ' from above the 
mercy-seat, from between the two cherubs which are upon the 
Ark of the Testimony' ^9 — that is, from the Holy of HoHes, 
in the innermost part of the Tabernacle, and not at the 
entrance. Accordingly, the Book of Leviticus begins, ' And 
Jehovah called unto Moses and spake unto him out of the 
Tent of Meeting ' ; ^^ and elsewhere we read, ' I will appear in 
the cloud upon the mercy-seat,' ^^ and again, ' And Moses 
went into the Tent of Meeting to speak with Jehovah, and 
one heard the voice of one speaking unto him from off the 
mercy-seat that was upon the Ark of the Testimony.'"* The 
two ideas, it is plain, are totally different. 

Lastly, in the Levitical Law the * cloud by day ' or the 
' appearance of fire by night ' rests always upon the Taber- 
nacle in the centre of the Camp when they are at rest ; ^^ and, 
when they are to be moved forward, it is * taken up from the 

36 N.i.53,iii.23,29,35. ^' N.iii.38. ^8 N.ii.2,3, 10, 18,25. 

=*■' E. XXV. 22. *" I-.i.i. ■" L.xvi,2. 

« N.vii.89. " N.ix.15,16, 18, 19,20,22. 


Tent,' ^^ and is meant apparently to float over it still, as it is 
carried in advance of the Ark in the middle of the host,'*' 
until the next resting-place is reached, when it drops again 
upon the Tabernacle. But in the Original Story the pillar of 
cloud descends when Jehovah will speak with Moses ; ^^ and 
the pillar * of cloud by day ' or ' fire by night ' goes before them 
when they march,''^ and the Ark itself leads the way, ' to 
search out a resting-place for them.' ^^ 

To a thoughtful reader of the Bible these contradictory 
statements must often have seemed very perplexing, especially 
if he had observed that, long after the Tabernacle has been 
duly set in the centre of the Camp, once and again in the 
Book of Numbers, the ' Tent of Meeting ' is spoken of as 
pitched outside the Camp, as here, and it is necessary to go out 
to it ; ^^ while in each of these two passages, as well as in 
another towards the end of Deuteronomy, JEHOVAH comes 
down in the pillar of cloud, as here, and stands at the entrance 
of the Tent, and speaks with Moses.^° Of course, the expla- 
nation is, that these three passages are all portions of the 
Original Story, as appears plainly enough when it is taken out 
-by itself, Hke the Elohistic Narrative, and then is found to 
form a connected whole, from the beginning of Exodus to the 
end of Deuteronomy, or rather, to the end of the Book of 
Joshua.^^ For the Pentateuch and Book of Joshua form 
parts of one work, and in this last-named Book, as well as the 
rest, we find portions of the Original Story, retouched by 
the Deuteronomist in his marked prophetical style,^^ and 
afterwards filled up by the priestly writers of the Levitical 

" v.iTs « N.x. 17,21. 

« E.xxxiii.9. '•^ E.xiii.2i,22,xiv. 19,24, N.x. 34. 

" N.x. 33. « N.xi.26,3o,xii.4. 

*" N.xi.i7,25,xii.5,io, D.xxxi.15. ^' App. II. 

" i.3-i8,iii.2-4, io,iv. 24, V. 2-8, vii. 7-9, viii. 30-35, x. 12-14, xxi. 43-45, xxii. 1-6, 
xiiijxxiv. 1-25,31. 
^^ J^-i3.-i9> V. 10-12, vi. 19,24b, vii. 1,25c, ix. 15b, 17-21, 27b, xi. 21-23, xii-i-24, 
xiii.2ib.22,23,xiv.i-i5,xvii 3-6,xix.5i,xxi.i-42,xxii.8-34,xxiv.26,27,33. 


I have thus tried to give you some idea of the Later or 
Levitical Legislation, which takes up so large a space in the 
Pentateuch, no less than two-thirds of Exodus, Leviticus, and 
Numbers, and which is plainly to be distinguished from the 
other parts of those books by its own peculiar phraseology, as 
well as by the subjects it treats of. The consideration of the 
style belongs, of course, to critical works : ^^ but it may 
interest you if I draw your attention more closely to some of 
the contents. 

We saw in the last Lecture that the priesthood, with its 
rights, duties, and prerogatives, — the paramount sanctity and 
dignity of the priests above that of their servants, the Levites, 
for whom a more moderate provision is made, — and the 
exaltation of both these orders of clergy above the laity, — 
engross a very large portion of this Levitical Law. The 
effort to bring into greater prominence the activity of Aaron, 
as the head of the future Aaronic priesthood, is strikingly 
exhibited in the account of the ten plagues, where several 
insertions are made,'^'^ apparently with this express object in 
view. In the Original Story it is Moses who invariably takes 
the leading part, who is to be 'as God to Aaronl ^^ who per- 
forms miracles with Jiis rod.^^ But in these later insertions 
Moses is to be *as God to Pharaoh', ^^ and Jehovah orders 
Moses, ' Say unto Aaron, Take tJiy rod and it shall become 
a [serpent or] crocodile,' ^^ and so in other instances.'''^ In 
the Original Story JEHOVAH speaks to Moses only ; ^^ in the 
later insertions JEHOVAH speaks to Moses and Aaron.^'^ In 
the Original Story JEHOVAH summons Aaron and his two 

" See Pent. VI. 

" 6-8, 10-30, vii.i-i3,i9,20a,22, viii. 5-7, 15-19, ix.8-12,35, xi.9,10, xii. 
1-28,40-51, xiv.8, xvi. ib,2-36, xix. 1,20-25, xxiv. 16, 17, xxv. i-xxxi. 17, xxxiv,28, 
♦the Ten Words,' 33-35, xxxv-xl. 

** E.iv. 16. *^ E.iv.2,3,vii, 15, i7,2ob,ix, 22, 23,x. 12, 13,21,22. 

" E.vii.i. *» E.vii.9, 10,12. «o E.viii.5,6,16,17. 

*' E.vii. 14, viii. i,20,ix. I, I3,22,x. 1, 12,21, xi. i,xiii. i,xiv. i, &c. 

*' 13, vii.8, ix.8, xii. 1,43, fd?w/. L.xi. i, xiii. i, xiv.33,xv. i, N.ii.i, iv.i, [7, 
xiv.26,xvi.20,xix. i,xx-. I2,xxvi.l. 


sons with seventy of the elders of Israel, to come to the foot 
of the Mount with Moses, ''^ where the privilege in question is 
made common to all these seventy-three persons. But the 
priestly writer inserts a command for Aaron alone to go up 
with Moses,'^'* a command, however, which is nowhere carried 
out. In the Original Story Aaron figures conspicuously only 
on two occasions, and then not at all with credit to himself — 
first, in the affair of the Golden Calf,^^ next on the occasion 
where Aaron and Miriam * speak against Moses,' saying, 
' Hath Jehovah indeed spoken only by Moses 1 Hath He 
not spoken also by us } ' and both are severely rebuked by 
Jehovah, and Miriam is smitten with leprosy.*^^ In the 
later insertions once indeed Moses and Aaron together 
provoke Jehovah by a fit of impatience,^^ for which they are 
doomed never to set their feet upon the soil of Canaan.^^ 
But everywhere Aaron stands in the foreground of the picture 
almost as much as Moses, and himself receives Divine com- 
munications without the intervention or even the presence of 
Moses.^^ In short, in the Original Story Aaron throughout 
appears not as a priest at all, but merely as a subordinate 
colleague of Moses,^° apparently a fellow-leader with Moses and 
Miriam.^^ And so says the prophet Micah, * I brought thee 
out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed thee out of the house 
of servants, and I sent before thee Moses, Aaron, and 
Miriam ' ; ^^ and this is the only passage in all the prophetical 
books in which Aaron is even mentioned. It may be noticed 
also that in the priestly insertions, though Aaron indeed, as 
also Eleazar, his son and successor, is ranked after Moses, yet 
Eleazar is always placed before Joshua, the ecclesiastical 
before the civil chiefs 

«' E.xxiv. 1,9. «< E.xix.24. " E.xxxii. 1-5,21-25. 

** N.xii. 67 

^* N.xx,i2,24,xxvii, 12-14, D.xxxii. 48-52. ^^ N.xviii. 1,8,20. 

'» E.iv. 14-16,27-30, V.I, 4,20, viii. 8, 12,25, ix.27, x.3,8, 16, xviii. 12, xxiv. 1,9, 14, 
xxxii.1,5, N.xiii.26. ^' E.XV.20, N.xii. ■'2 

" N.xxxii.28,xxxiv. 17, J.xiv. l,xvii.4,xix.5l,xxi. l. 


It would seem therefore, as I have said, that Aaron owes 
his fame as a priest entirely to his priestly Legislation, written 
during or after the Captivity. Accordingly he is never even 
named in the two Books of Kings, composed by Jeremiah, 
himself a priest, before the Captivity ; and it is mentioned that 
Jeroboam * made priests from all parts of the people, who 
were not of the sons of Levi' ^^ — it is not said, 'who were not 
of the sons oi Aaron.' So, too, in his prophecies, as observed 
in the last Lecture,^^ Jeremiah speaks only of ' the priests the 
Levites,' as does his brother priest Ezekiel, the latter also 
calling the faithful priests ' the sons of Zadok.' On the other 
hand, in the Books of Chronicles, Ezra, and Nehemiah, 
written long after the Captivity, when the Levitical Law had 
become a recognized part of the Pentateuch, Aaron takes his 
place of honour as the head of the priesthood,^^ and the 
Levites are everywhere distinguished from the priests,^^ and 
stand in due subordination to the ' sons of Aaron.' ^^ 

3ut perhaps the most striking instance of the manner in 
which these later priestly writers have modified the older 
narrative in order to support the claims of the priesthood, is 
afforded by the account of the rebellion of Korah, Dathan, and 
Abiram, as it now lies before us in N.xvi, xvii. The story is 
familiar to you all, as having been annually read in the 
Sunday Lessons. It tells us how ' Korah son of Izhar, son of 
Kohath, son of Levi,' and Dathan and Abiram, sons of 
Reuben,^^ * gathered themselves together against Moses and 
against Aaron,' being supported by a formidable band of 

" 1K.xii.31. " P-I93- 

'®,49,5o,xii.27,xv.4,xxiii.i3,28,32,xxiv. I,i9,3i,xxvii. 17. aCh.xiii.p, 
lOjXxvi. i8,xxix.2i,xxxi. iQjXxxv, 14, Ezr.vii.5, Neh.x. 38,xii.47. 

" e.g. iCh,ix,2, 2Ch.v. 12,,viii. 15, Neh.x.38,xiii.5. 

",48,49,xxiii. 27,28, 2Ch.viii. I4,xxix. i6,xxxv, ii^ Neh.xii.47. 

'^ N.xvi. I : as nothing more is said about ' On son of Peleth ' in this story or 
in any of the other places where this rebellion is mentioned {N.xxvi.9, D.xi.6, 
Ps.cvi. 17), it is probable that there has been here some mistake in copying, and 
that ' Peleth ' is a corruption for ' Pallu,' so that the passage should run ' Dailian 
and Abiram, sons of Kliab, son of Pallu, son of Reuben.' 


Levites and laymen ^^ — how Moses uttered an indignant 
rebuke to the ambitious Levites, * Hear, I pray you, ye sons 
of Levi ! Is it Httle for you that the God of Israel has 
separated you from the congregation of Israel to bring 
you near to Himself, to do the service of the Tabernacle of 
Jehovah, and to stand before the Congregation to minister 
unto them ? Yea, he hath brought thee near and all thy 
brethren the sons of Levi with thee : and seek ye the priest- 
hood also ? ' ®^ — how in the end the earth opened her mouth 
and swallowed up Dathan and Abiram and their families,^^ 
while Korah and his company of incense-bearers were struck 
dead by lightning,^^ and then the warning is given that none 
but those of the seed of Aaron should presume to offer 
incense on pain of similar destruction''* — how the people 
murmured against Moses and Aaron for the doom which had 
overtaken their fellows,^^ and a plague broke out, which was 
stopped by the act of Aaron, who * ran and put on incense 
and made an atonement for the people, and he stood between 
the dead and the living, and the plague was stayed ' ®^ — how 
after this Moses by Divine Command took twelve rods for 
the twelve tribes, and laid them up before Jehovah in the 
Tabernacle, and in the morning * lo ! the rod of Aaron for the 
House of Levi ' budded and blossomed ^' — and how this ' rod 
of Aaron that budded ' was ordered to be kept as a token 
against the rebels,®^ and the terrified people exclaimed, ' Lo ! 
we die ! we perish ! we all perish ! whosoever cometh at all 
near unto the Tabernacle of JEHOVAH shall die : shall we be 
consumed with dying ? ' ®^ Then in the next chapter the 
priests and Levites are introduced as bearing in their different 
degrees this awful burden of approaching the Sanctuary on 
behalf of their lay brethren,^^ * that there be no more wrath 

*" V.2,'], 8> t/.8-IO. «2 z;. 32-34. 83 2/. 35, 

" 2^.40. 85 ^ j^^ 86 ^^.47,48. 87 N.Xvii.I-8. 

88 N.xvii. 10. 89 7,. 12,13, ^" N.xviii. 1-7. 


upon the children of Israel,' ' and the stranger that cometh 
nigh shall be put to death.' »' And after this abundant 
supplies are secured for the priests and Levites from the sacri- 
fices, firstlings, firstfruits, and vows and tithes ; ^^ and so the 
priesthood, with its servants the Levites, is not only esta- 
blished, but richly endowed in Israel, not by human laws, but 
on the direct authority of Jehovah Himself! 

Now out of all this legislation in the interest of the priests 
not one word belongs to the Original Story, which spoke only 
of the rebellion of Dathan and Abiram against Moses, and 
made no mention at all of Korah, or of Aaron and the rights 
of the priesthood. This appears at once from the manner in 
which the Deuteronomist refers to this affair — * and what He 
did unto Dathan and Abiram, sons of Eliab, son of Reuben, 
how the earth opened her mouth and swallowed them up, and 
their households and their tents, and all the substance that 
was in their possession in the midst of all Israel.' ^^ You see 
that nothing is here said about Korah, or the two hundred 
and fifty men, ' princes of the Assembly, famous in the Con- 
gregation, men of renown,' ^^ who were burnt with ' fire from 
Jehovah/ ^^ In fact, the Original Story records a lay rebel- 
lion against Moses, the leader and ruler chosen by Jehovah, 
the idea of which was perhaps suggested by the rebellious 
feelings entertained by the Ten Tribes tow^ards the House of 
David and the supremacy of Judah from the first, especially 
in the time of David himself,^^ during which this passage was 
probably written. And this story, as it lay before the eyes 
of the Deuteronomist, can still be taken out as a complete 
consistent narrative,^'^ leaving behind Korah, and Aaron, and 
all the priestly elements, which have been added in a totally 
different style and phraseology, viz. that which marks 
throughout the Later Legislation. And, no doubt, these in- 

9' 7/. 3,4, 5, 7. " J,. 8-32. 3' D.xi.6. "* N.xvi.2. " 7/. 35, 

^"^ 2S.ii.8,9,iii.i,xix.43,xx. 1,2, iK.xii. 16-20,28. " See ^//. II. 



sertions tell us indirectly of some fierce struggle of the leading 
Levitical families against the claims of the priesthood to lord 
it over them, on the return from the Captivity. 

Thus the driest details of the Levitical Law, rightly under- 
stood, become invested with real historical interest and 
meaning for us, though they reveal to us the history of times 
far later than those of Moses and the Exodus. But certainly 
the result of these enquiries makes the patent peculiarity of 
the Jewish history, the cessation of the prophetical spirit after 
the Captivity, intelligible and highly instructive, instead of its 
being, as it used to appear, while it was supposed that the 
Levitical system had all along coexisted with the prophets, 
an unaccountable mystery. That the free utterance of the 
Spirit of God should have been stifled beneath the mass of 
minute ritualism imposed by the Later Legislation in the 
name of God, is very conceivable. But how remarkable is 
this phenomenon, and how instructive ! For centuries we 
find the great prophets of Israel struggling to deliver their 
countrymen from slavery to the Sun-Gods and other ' Lords ' 
with their bloody and licentious rites ; they succeed at last 
with the aid of the Babylonish Captivity : a race of pure 
jEHOVAH-worshippers returns to Jerusalem : and lo ! their 
first act is to enslave the minds of their descendants beneath 
the yoke of priestly ordinances, from which it required the 
teaching of Jesus, and the irruption of the Gentile world into 
the fold of the Church through the breach which St. Paul 
made in the name of Jesus, to save men's minds : and the seed 
of the rescued have employed their freedom in erecting a new 
set of prison-walls for the spirit of man under the sanction of 
the Church ! And now, when our martyred Reformers have 
laid down their lives to secure for us the enjoyment of that 
liberty wherewith Christ has made us free as children of God, 
the priestly spirit is at work again, to quench, if possible, the 
light of Science, to suppress the Truth, and to bring back the 


pernicious system which we thought had been banished from 
our Church for ever ! 

The truth is, that the ritualistic system is for not a few of 
its votaries, clergy and laity, but a means of escaping from 
the duty which is laid upon us of pondering solemnly those 
great questions which occupy — and in God's good Provi- 
dence were meant to occupy — the present age. It may avail 
as a temporary expedient, in a time of transition like this, to 
block out anxious thought upon such questions, and may 
help to fill up in some measure the vacuum which would 
otherwise exist in the minds of many, who live in ignorance 
of the grand results of scientific enquiry on this and other 
domains, and who are content to do so, rather than be troubled 
with ' doubts ' which they have been taught by their reli- 
gious directors to regard as ' sins ' — as sparks of hellish fire, 
to be stamped out as if proceeding from the fuse of a * loaded 
shell shot into the fortress of the soul ' ^^ by the Great Enemy, 
when in reality they were signs of a Divine Fire, which has 
been kindled in our midst in these days by the Spirit of God, 
as in the days of the First Reformation. But this state of 
things can only last for a while. By degrees the light and 
life, which are God's precious gifts to the present age, will 
penetrate into every corner of Society. And, as surely as the 
Earth's motion around the Sun, though once condemned as 
heretical and blasphemous, is now recognised as a fact to be 
taught as elementary knowledge in the commonest village- 
school, so before long will the non-Mosaic origin and the un- 
historical character of the whole Pentateuchal story, together 
with the very late date of the Levitical Legislation, be re- 
garded as established facts in Biblical Instruction, in the 
Pulpit and the Sunday-school — through the very touch of 
which the whole foundation of the priestly and ritualistic 
system crumbles at once into dust. 

P 2 



The L.L. enforces with like seventy the paramount sanctity of the priesthood 
and a minute ritualism, and especially enjoins the observance of the sabbath 
before any sabbath-law had been given ; this severity more apparent than real, 
as shown in the account of the slaughter of the Midianites ; the L. L. repeats 
incidents of the O. S. ; it makes a pretence of strict historical accuracy, as in 
the numberings of the people ; it makes an absurdly extravagant provision for 
the three priests and their families, as also for the Levites ; the Levitical 
cities never existed ; the Day of Atonement was unknown before the Captivity ; 
the Sabbatical year, as prescribed in the L.L., a mistaken perversion of the 
original institution, was not observed till after the Captivity, and the Jubilee 
never at all ; the New Bible Commentary evades the difficulty by ascribing 
such laws to Moses, not to Jehovah. 


E have seen that the priestly writers of the Levitical 
Law were very zealous in advancing the interests 
of their order, and never hesitate to secure their 
dignity and their emoluments by appeals to 
Divine injunctions, and Divine judgments for neglect or dis- 
regard of them. Now and then, indeed, a warning is given 
to the priests themselves, as when Nadab and Abihu, the 
eldest sons of Aaron, are struck by lightning for offering 
incense with unhallowed fire,^ when apparently in a state of 
intoxication, since it follows immediately — 'And Jehovah 
spake unto Aaron saying, Drink no wine nor strong drink, 
thou nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the Tent of 
Meeting, lest ye die.' ^ But elsewhere these same threats are 
used to enforce the sanctity of the priests above the Levites,^ 
and of both above the laity,'' or else to punish a number of 
most trivial, as well as more serious, offences against the 
ritual law. Thus the doom of death or of excommunication 
is pronounced against any who should ' compound any 
ointment like the holy ointment, or put any of it upon a 
stranger,' ^ or * make any scent like the holy perfume,' ^ or eat 

L.X.I, 2. 


* E. XXX. 33. 

N.iii. 10,38, xvi. 40. 


of the sacrifices being unclean/ as by touching for instance a 
dead snail.^ In this Law also the Sabbath is enforced with 
very strict injunctions/ and in one place before any Sabbath- 
law had been given ; ^^ just as Aaron is said to have * laid up 
a pot of manna before the Testimony,' " when as yet no Ark 
or Testimony existed, and no hint had been given about 
Aaron's priesthood, or just as Moses under Sinai is made to 
order the 'priests that come near to JEHOVAH ' to 'sanctify 
themselves, lest Jehovah break forth upon them,' ^^ when as 
yet there were no such priests, but ' young men of the children 
of Israel ' offered sacrifices, ^^ and a ' young man, Joshua, the 
servant of Moses,' kept watch and slept in the Tent of 
Meeting.^'* Moreover, the violation of the Sabbath by doing 
any kind of work, such as lighting a fire, was by this Law to 
be punished with death ; ^^ and the decree in this case is en- 
forced by the example of a man being stoned, by express 
command of Jehovah, for ' gathering sticks on the Sabbath- 
day.' ^^ This passage, however, is shown to be one of the 
very latest insertions in the Pentateuch, not merely by its 
general agreement in style and language with the other portions 
of this Levitical Legislation, but expressly by its close resem- 
blance to another passage, where a man is in like manner 
stoned for blaspheming ' the Name ' ^^ — not ' the name of 
Jehovah/ but simply * the Name ' ^® — an expression used by 
superstitious Jews in later times to avoid mention of the 
Divine Name ; as the Greek translators always substitute for 
Jehovah the expression * the Lord,' which has been copied in 
the later Vulgate, and unfortunately retained in our English 
Version. But it is plain that all this severity, like that in 
Deuteronomy against the nations in Canaan/^ is more appa- 

' L.vii.20, 

^ L.xi.29-31. 

" E.xxxi. 12-17. 

'" E.xvi. 22-30. 

" "^'.34. 

'2 E.xix.22,24. 

" E.xxiv.5. 

'* E.xxxiii. II. 

>^ E. XXXV. 1-3. 

•« N. XV. 32-36. 

" L.xxiv. 10-16. 

'« V. 


'••• r- 1 78-9- 


rent than real, and is intended merely to deter from the com- 
mission of such offences — with this difference, however, that 
the Deuteronomist, in the true spirit of a prophet, wishes to 
prevent the Israehtes from taking part in the debasing idola- 
tries of heathen worship, which miUtated with inward purity 
of heart, whereas the Levitical Law denounces chiefly breaches 
of mere ceremonial law, which, according to priestly notions, 
interfered with the observance of the command * Be ye holy, 
for I am holy.' ^^ 

For instance, when the priestly writer tells us that 12,000 
Israelites ' avenged Jehovah on Midian ' ^^ by killing in 
battle 88,000 warriors, and then butchering in cold blood 
88,000 women and girls and 32,000 boys, carrying off also as 
slaves 32,000 young female children,^^ he apparently feels no 
horror or compunction at recording these facts, but coolly 
describes the deliberate massacre of so many thousand 
defenceless persons as a religious act. He is anxious, how- 
ever, that the booty taken in cattle and slaves shall be pro- 
perly divided, the priests and Levites getting, of course, their 
shares,^^ including ' J EHOVAH's tribute ' of 32 young female 
slaves for the priests,^^ as also that the chief actors in the 
affair shall be duly * cleansed ' — * Abide ye in the Camp seven 
days ; whosoever hath killed any person, and whosoever hath 
touched any slain, purify both yourselves and your captives on 
the third day and on the seventh day ; and ye shall wash your 
clothes on the seventh day and be clean, and afterwards ye 
shall come into the Camp.' ^^ Happily, this frightful butchery, 
exceeding infinitely in atrocity the tragedy at Cawnpore, has' 
been carried out only on paper. Still it shows how the 
writer's mind must have been warped and corrupted, that he 

-« L.xi. 44,45. 2' N.xxxi.3. 

" Z'. 7, 17,18, 35 : 32,000 young girls — say under 15 years — imply at least 8,000 
females under 20, and 80,000 over 20, that is, 88,000 women and full-grown 
girls, and con^iequently 88,000 men and full-grown youths, and 32,000 boys. 
" N.xxxi.25 30. =* c'.40,4i. " J.. 19^24. 


could even compose such a narrative as this, without being 
sensible of the violence done by it to our best feelings as men, 
unless indeed our own minds, as the result of long-continued 
traditionary teaching, have been warped and corrupted 
also. But he further assures us, in utter defiance of reason 
and common-sense, that all this was done, and 800,000 head 
of cattle carried off, by 12,000 Israelites without the loss of a 
single man ^^ — not one of the 80,000 warriors having struck a 
death-blow in defence of his life and all he held dear on earth 
— not one even of the 88,000 women and girls or 32,000 
boys having struck down one of the murderers, who had 
killed their parents and children, husbands and brothers and 
sisters, and were now about to butcher themselves. And he 
tells us that the captains brought, as a thank-offering for this 
immunity, a magnificent present for the Sanctuary, 'jewels 
of gold, chains and bracelets, rings, earrings, and tablets,' 'to 
make atonement for their souls.' ^^ It is surely time in this age of 
the world that the true account of this matter should be clearly 
given, instead of attempting to defend this narrative as real 
history, as the New Commentary does by saying — * No doubt, 
a general license to slay at pleasure could hardly have been 
given without demoralising those employed. But the com- 
mission of the Israelites in the text must not be so conceived. 
They had no discretion to kill or spare. They were bidden 
to exterminate without mercy, and brought back to their task 
when they showed signs of flinching.' ^^ 

Whenever, in fact, the priestly writer steps out of his favourite 
beaten track of mere ritualistic legislation and passes into 
narrative, his stories have often a gloomy — even at times a 
savage — character,^^ very different from the life-like spirited 
sketches of the Jehovist ; and they show, moreover, great 
sameness and poverty of invention. Thus, instead of intro- 

''^ 2'. 5,49- " J^. 50-54. 2« Z?.C.,I.p.766. 

" L.x. 1,2, xxiv, 10-16, N.xv.32-36,xvi.35-5o.xxv.6-i5,xxxi. 


ducing new incidents, he merely repeats before the arrival at 
Sinai the accounts of the manna and the quails,^° using some- 
times the very words of the older writer at a later point of the 
wanderings,^^ and introducing here, as I have said, the Ark 
and the priesthood of Aaron out of their proper place,^^ so 
betraying at once the unhistorical character of his additions. 
And in other instances his own statements help very much to 
betray this, and thus to undo in some measure the evil of his 
work, as we have just seen in the case of the exaggerated 
account of the slaughter of the Midianites. But so, too, in 
numbering the people, the priestly writer shows a deliberate 
purpose to give to his statements an appearance of strict his- 
torical accuracy. The Original Story had spoken of the host 
of Israel as consisting of* about 600,000 men besides women 
and children' ^^ — an enormous number truly, which implies an 
entire population of about three millions ; and since there 
were in the wilderness no upper and lower stories, no garrets 
or underground cellars, none of the appliances for crowding 
which a great city provides, but all lived upon the ground in 
tents, the whole encampment would have covered about the 
same area as LONDON. And, of course, the question would 
immediately arise as to how such a vast population could 
have found wood and water in the barren waste, or pasture 
for their innumerable flocks and herds, if they themselves 
were fed all along on manna — though the story seems not to 
have contemplated this, but only to mean that manna was 
afforded on two separate occasions.^'* Above all, after the 
well-known experience of only 20,000 at the Diamond Fields, 
with a splendid river within their reach, we might well ask 
how this immense Camp, without any sewage arrangements 
and with very scanty supplies of water, could have kept free 
from pollution and fever. In short, a multitude of such 

3° E.xvi. " z/. 13b, 14,31, r^w/. N.xi.7,8l),9. 

3- z'.3.';,34. " E.xii.37, N.xi.2i. 3* E.xvi, N.xi.4-g. 



questions might be asked, and have been asked, and the diffi- 
culty of replying to them has been so great that one Com- 
mentator has been driven to the necessity of suggesting that 
for 600,000 we should read 60,000, when * all would be clear, 
every numerical difficulty worth thinking of would vanish at 
once ' ; though he adds in a note on the very same page, 
* Notwithstanding the admitted difficulty of the large numbers, 
it is very questionable whether the difficulties would not be 
greater on the supposition that the number were very much 
less ' ? 35 

But it may be fairly assumed that this sum-total of 600,000 
warriors was only set down hastily, without due consideration 
of the consequences, by one who was recording an imaginary 
story, but had probably no idea of teaching it as actual 
historical fact. It is very different when we turn to the priestly 
writer, and find that, not content with the number as origi- 
nally given, * about 600,000', he has defined the total accurately 
as 603,550,3^ dividing it carefully among the twelve tribes ; 
though, strangely enough, the number for each tribe is given 
as so many roimd hundreds^'^ except one with an odd fifty,^^ 
and, still more strangely, the number of the whole host is 
identically the same as he represents it to have been six 
months previously, ^^ as if the number of warriors who had 
become full-grown in the interval had exactly equalled the 
number of those who had passed beyond the military age or 
died ! But he is not even content with this. He records 
another numbering thirty-eight years afterwards, at the end of 
the wanderings, where the separate numbers for the different 
tribes are all, as before, round htmdreds,^^ except one with an 
odd thirty,'*^ and are most artificially constructed, six tribes 
having more than 50,000 at each numbering, and six less, 

3* Bp. Browne (Eloh. Psalms, p. 26.) " N. 1.46,11.32. 

" N.i.2i,23,27,&c. 3^ v.2$. "9 E.xxxviii.26. 

*" N.xxvi. 14, 18,22, &c. *' v.T. 


some being increased in the interval and some diminished, but 
so that the total is nearly the same on the second occasion as 
on the first, viz. 601,730,''^ implying that, through a Divine 
judgment for their offences, the population, instead of increas- 
ing, had slightly diminished in the wilderness. 

So, again, the prodigious provision made for the support 
of the priesthood — the breast and the hind-leg of all the 
peace-offerings, the whole of the sin-offerings and trespass- 
offerings, except the suet burnt upon the altar, all of the 
meal-offerings except a handful burnt as a memorial, all the 
firstfruits, all the firstlings, all the votive offerings, and one- 
tenth of all the tithes,'*^ from a population like that of LONDON, 
having vast multitudes of sheep and oxen,'** is made — for 
whom ? — for just tJiree priests, Aaron and his sons,^'' Eleazar 
and Ithamar, and their families, these two having been in- 
troduced by the priestly writer,''^ apparently to supply the 
place of Nadab and Abihu killed (according to him), by 
lightning,''^ Aaron having only these two sons in the Original 
Story, '^^ as Moses also had only two sons.''^ For instance, 
the * sin-offerings ' were to be eaten only by the males ' in the 
most holy place ' ; ^° and the pigeons or turtle-doves alone, to 
be brought as sin-offerings for the birth of chi4dren ^^ for 
three millions of people, would have averaged about 250 a 
day,^^ or more than 96,000 annually, and all to be eaten by 
three priests * in the most holy place ' ! — to say nothing about 
the possibility of such numbers of pigeons or turtle-doves 
having been obtained in the wilderness. It might be sup- 
posed that these provisions were intended for after-time, 
when the people would be settled in Canaan, and the number 
of priests would be increased, though indeed there would 

« 7/.51. " N.xviii. 8-19,25 28. " N.xxxi.32-34,xxxii. I. 

" N.xviii. 8, " E.xxviii. I. 

" L.x. 1,2,6, 12, 16, N.iii.2,4,xxvi. 60,61. ** E.xxiv. 1,9. 

*' E.xviii.3,4. *" N.xviii.9, lo. *' L.xii.6. 

** The births in London for a week [I^iiiics, Sept. 3, 1862) were 1,852. 


seem to have been only three at Shiloh in Eli's time.^' But 
not a trace of such intention really appears in the narrative. 
On the contrary some of the Levitical Laws are introduced 
with the words ' When ye be come into the land of Canaan/^^ 
and are thus expressly distinguished from the rest of that 
legislation ; while in others the ' Camp ' is mentioned,^^ im- 
plying therefore that they were meant to be put in force in 
the wilderness. In short, the unhistorical character of these 
laws is self-evident : they are merely insertions of later 
priestly writers. 

So, too, the Levites, numbered as 22,000 males of all ages,-^^ 
implying about 12,000 adults, are to have the tithes of 
600,000 Israelites ; ^^ so that each single Levite, without his 
own labour or that of his family, was to receive as much as 
Jive Israelites obtained by their daily toil ! — except a tenth 
which was to go to the three priests, -^^ each of whom, there- 
fore, was to receive as much as four hundred Levites, or two 
thousand Israelites ! ! Here, again, the unhistorical character 
of this legislation is obvious, in spite of the argument which 
has been urged that * tithes are never paid punctiliously, and 
were then without doubt paid with just as little conscientious- 
ness as now, when the tithe-owners often scarcely receive the 
twentieth.' ^* But this is represented not as a human law, 
but as a Divine Command, which was meant to be religiously 

Once more, in the Levitical Law, forty-eight cities with 
their suburbs are assigned to the Levites,^° of which thirteen 
— that is, about a fourth of the whole — are given to the ' sons 
of Aaron the priests ' ^* — out of all proportion, of course, to 
their relative numbers, which were as one to 4,000 ; nor is it 

*' iS.ii. 12-17,34. *< L.xiv.34,xix.23,xxiii. io,xxv,2, N.XV.2, i8,xxxiv.2. 

" L.iv. 12,21, vi. ii,xiii.46,xiv.3,8,xvi.26,27,28,xvii,3, N.xix.3,7,9. 
" N.iii.39. " N.xviii. 21-24. ** N.xviii.z'. 25-28. 

" Keil, II. p. 266, '^'■^ N. XXXV. 1-7, " J.xxi. 13-19. 


easy to see what two priests and their children and grand- 
children — for Elcazar was still living "^ — would have done 
with thirteen cities. But, very singularly, these thirteen priestly 
cities are all fixed in the territories of Judah and Benjamin, 
that is, close to the site of the future Temple, conveniently 
for the future priests ; and this is supposed to be done at a 
time when the Temple was not even thought of, and Mount 
Zion was still, and remained for centuries afterwards, in the 
hands of the Jcbusites, the original inhabitants of the land ! ^^ 
Moreover, we find in Deuteronomy a merciful provision that 
there shall be six 'cities of refuge,* to which one who had 
killed another accidentally might flee and be safe from the 
avenger of blood. In his main address Moses merely directs 
the people to sever three cities in Canaan itself for this 
purpose, and, if their land be enlarged, to add three more,^'* 
which, however, in the four chapters afterwards prefixed, the 
writer inadvertently makes Moses do himself^^ It need 
hardly be said that these six 'cities of refuge,' three on 
each side of the Jordan, are included by the priestly legislator 
among the Levitical cities.^^ These cities, however, are men- 
tioned long before,^'^ but most abruptly, before a word has 
been said to explain the reason for which they were to be set 
apart. It is possible that the writer really expected this 
arrangement to be carried out, at least to some extent, after 
the return from the Captivity. But, however this may be, 
there is no sign in the history that any such cities were 
ever at any time recognized in Israel ; and Nob, the ' city of 
the priests ' which Saul ravaged, was not one of the Levitical 

Nor is there any sign before the Captivity of the Day of 
Atonement having been kept, the observance of which as a 
day of fasting, on t/ie tenth day of the seventh month, is strictly 

« V. I. " 2S.V.6-9. «* D.xix. I- 7,8-10. 

" D.V.41-43. «^ N. XXXV. 6. *' L. XXV. 32, 33. 


required in the Levitical Law under pain of death.^* The 
Deuteronomist does not mention it, and it is plain that 
Ezekiel knew nothing about it, since, while giving special 
directions for the Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, 
and the Feast of Tabernacles,^^ he appoints an atonement to 
be made annually for the Sanctuary and people, very similar 
to that ordered for the Day of Atonement, and perhaps 
the original type of the latter, on the first and seventh days of 
the first viontJi?^ But after the Captivity we find this fasting- 
day strictly observed, so as to be called simply * the day.' ^^ 

The Sabbatical year is also enjoined in this Law, JEHOVAH 
being introduced as saying, ' in the seventh year there shall 
be a sabbath of rest for the land, a sabbath for JEHOVAH : 
thou shalt neither sow thy field nor prune thy vineyard : that 
which groweth of its own accord of thy harvest thou shalt 
not reap, neither gather of thy undressed vine : it is a year of 
rest for the land.' ^'^ What a dreary injunction must this 
have been for the active husbandman, who for a whole year 
would be thus compelled to absolute idleness, when all his 
fellow-men in cities and towns were as busy as ever ! But how 
would the vine prosper, if left unpruned t Or would the land 
have had a ' year of rest ' from producing weeds } The fact 
is that the more ancient law, on which this is based, says 
nothing about the land resting. It says only ' Six years thou 
shalt sow thy land and gather its produce. And the seventh 
year thou shalt let it rest and lie still ' — it, that is, the pro- 
duce, not the land—' that the poor of thy people may eat, and 
what they leave' — which of itself implies a plentiful yield, 
not the scanty gleanings of untilled land — ' the beasts of the 
field shall eat. So shalt thou do to thy vineyard, to thine 
oliveyard.'" This law, however, which meant that the farmer 

«" L.xvi.29-34,xxui.26-32, N.xxix.7-11. ^^ Ez.xlv.21-25. 

'» 2^.18-20, ''» Joseph. ^;//.XIV.xvi.4,ni.x.3,Acts,xxvii.9. 

" L. XXV. 4, 5. " E.xxiii. 10,11. 


should cultivate his land as usual in the seventh year, but 
for the benefit of the poor and needy, seems to have been 
wholly neglected in actual practice, as well as that other law 
which orders that, after six years' service, every Hebrew slave 
shall go free, if he will.^^ And so at last the Deuteronomist 
directs that every seventh year shall be a * year of release ' 
for all Hebrew debtors and slaves ; '^^ and, instead of repeating 
the older law about the crops being left in the seventh year 
for the use of the poor, he prescribes that every year the tithes 
shall be employed for feasting, in which the poor and the 
Levite shall be allowed to share.^^ This command for the 
liberation of Hebrew slaves was once actually carried out in 
Zedekiah's reign,'^ very probably under Jeremiah (the Deute- 
ronomist)'s influence ; though he bitterly reproaches and 
terribly threatens the king, the princes, and the people, for 
retracing the step, and bringing back their manumitted slaves 
into servitude again.'^® Perhaps they had come to understand 
that the provision in Deuteronomy had no real Mosaic 
authority ; though surely it was a humane and merciful law, 
from whatever pen it proceeded. But the later priestly 
writer changes the whole character of the original command. 
* That which groweth of itself ' in the Sabbatical year, from 
the untilled lands and unpruned vines, is not here to be left 
wholly to the poor and the beasts, as before, but is to be food 
for the owner and his family, and the ' sojourner,' the cattle, 
and the beasts ; ^^ and it is further promised that in the sixth 
year the land ' shall bring forth fruit for three years.' ®° Thus 
the benevolent purpose of the original institution is turned 
into a mere empty show of reverence for God, the result 
being that no charity whatever is here enjoined ; for the 
farmer is only to give away, and that partially, the scantier 
produce of the seventh year, and is to keep for himself the 

""" E.xxi.2-6. " D.XV.1-18. " D.xiv.22-29. " Jer.xxxiv.8-ii. 

" z/. 11-22. " L. XXV. 6, 7. ^" z/. 20-22. 


threefold produce of the sixth year, spending the seventh in 
idleness unpleasing to God and unprofitable to man ! We 
learn from Josephus ®^ that the Sabbatical Year was kept in 
this way, but only after the Captivity. 

The Levitical Law institutes also the ' Year of Jubilee,* 
that is, the fiftieth year was also to be kept as a Sabbatical 
Year ; ^^ and, perhaps, the threefold crops in every sixth year 
may have been provided with a view to the Jubilee being kept 
immediately after the forty-ninth year, that is, the seventh 
Sabbatical Year, so that two Sabbatical Years would come 
together. But there is no trace of the Jubilee having ever 
been kept, before or after the Captivity. 

It is painful to mark these proceedings of the later 
priesthood. But, at all events, it is a blessing to have our 
minds relieved from the burden of receiving such laws as the 
express utterances of the Most High. The New Commentary 
evades the difficulty by speaking continually as if it was only 
Moses who enacted them — e.g. ' The Jubilee, as instituted by 
Moses, is without a parallel in the history of the world ' ^^ — or 
again * It is assumed that Moses could not have foreseen that 
the Sabbatical Year would be neglected ' ®'* — or again, ' Moses 
knew the Jiunian heart, and he was acquainted with the temper 
and disposition of the people. . . . The legislator knew that 
his words would be but impeifectly obeyed! ®^ But this is to 
heap one delusion on another. These laws are represented 
as Divinely given : throughout it is Jehovah ' speaking unto 
Moses and saying.' ^^ And our duty is to look the truth in 
the face, and so relieve both our own consciences from infinite 
pain and perplexity, and the character of Moses himself from 
the reproach which the work of these priestly writers would 
otherwise fasten upon him. We now know that the whol i 

^' Joseph. y4«/.XI.viii.6,XIV.x,6,xvi.2,XV.i.2, r^w/.,49,53. 
»2 L.XXV.8-I2. 83 ^.c.I.p.636. 8* /(^.p.640. 

" /^.p.643. " L.i.i,iv.i,v. i4,&c. 


ritualistic legislation, with its multiplied ordinances, * Touch 
not, taste not, handle not,' ®^ is but the ' commandment and 
doctrine of men,' ^^ of fallible men, like ourselves, but of men 
possessed by the priestly spirit, which has always been antago- 
nistic to the free Gospel of the Grace of God — that Gospel 
which makes the sign of a Christian's faithfulness to consist, 
not in the performance of rites and ceremonies or the main- 
tenance of dogmas and creeds, but in ' putting on Christ,' ^^ in 
practising love to God and Man after Christ's example ^° — 
which tells us that * Now abideth faith, hope, charity, these 
three : but the greatest of these is charity.' ^^ 

" C0l.ii.2i. *8 Matt. XV. 9. o" R0m.xiii.i4. 

^ Matt. xxii. 35-40. »' 1C0r.xiii.13. 




Signs of progress in the legislation of different ages ; the Mosaic Tabernacle 
specially related to the Second Temple ; indications that the splendid Mosaic 
Ark never existed ; the real ark of the Exodus ; the original account of its 
construction suppressed, and the ' ark of the covenant ' of the O.S. replaced 
in the L. L, by the ' Ark of the Testimony ' ; the original notice of the 
separation of the tribe of Levi as the priestly caste suppressed to make room 
for the later account of the institution of the Priests and the Levites ; the 
Bible, though taken from us as an idol, restored to us as the Vi^ork of living 
men ; contrast between its priestly and prophetical portions. 


;N my last Lecture I drew your attention to certain 
institutions of the Priestly Legislation of the 
Pentateuch, some of which, as the Year of Jubilee 
and the Levitical Cities, appear never to have 
been carried out at all in practice, while others, as the Day 
of Atonement and the Sabbatical Year, were observed only in 
later days, after the return from the Babylonish Captivity, 
giving thus a plain indication of the later age which gave 
birth to them. The last of these, we saw, was merely an in- 
judicious rendering of a much older law, which had first 
passed through the hands of the Deuteronomist, and by him 
had been already modified in accordance with the needs of 
his own time.^ And so in other instances it is interesting to 
trace the progress of legislation from the earlier to the later 
age. Thus the oldest writer in Genesis records the command, 
as given to Noah after the Flood, ' not to eat flesh with its 
soul, its blood ' ; ^ the later Deuteronomist repeats this, but 
adds thrice the injunction to * pour the blood upon the ground 
as water ' ; ^ the still later priestly writer orders the blood 
not only to be poured out, but to be ' covered with dust,' and 

p. 224. 


IX. 4. 

^ D.xii. i6,24,xv.23. 


extends the law to sojourners as well as home-born Israelites. 
Again, the Deuteronomist gives a list of unclean animals, 
whose flesh was not to be eaten, and among these he reckons 

* every swarming-thing that flieth.'^ The later priestly legisla- 
tor corrects this too hasty generalisation, by permitting the 
use of four forms of the locust.^ So with respect to an animal 

* dying of itself or torn,' the Original Story says ' ye shall not 
eat it, to the dogs ye shall cast it ' ; ^ the Deuteronomist also 
forbids such flesh being eaten by any Israelite, but adds — * to 
the sojourner that is in thy gates shalt thou give it that he 
may eat it, or sell it to a stranger ' : ^ the priestly writer 
assumes that Israelites generally may freely eat of such meat, 
but provides that * every soul that shall eat anything dying of 
itself or torn, whether homeborn or sojourner, shall wash his 
clothes and bathe with water, and be unclean until the 
evening, and then he shall be clean.' ^ He forbids only the 
priests to eat anything ' fallen or torn.' ^° It is plain that 
this law, which allows all Israelites except the priests to eat 
such flesh, cannot possibly have been issued, as would appear 
from its present position in the Pentateuch, betwee^i the other 
two laws, each of which forbids such food to all Israelites. 
So, too, it cannot be supposed that the laws in the Book of 
Numbers,^^ which secure to the priests and Levites such a 
sumptuous maintenance on the authority of JEHOVAH Him- 
self, giving the firstlings wholly to the priests and the tithes 
to the Levites,^^ should have been aftcrzvards modified by 
Moses in Deuteronomy, assigning much smaller perquisites 
from the sacrifices,^^ and expressly enjoining the householder 
to feast with his family and servants upon these very same 
firstlings and tithes,^"* only not to forget the stranger, and the 

* L.xvii. 13, co7np. Ez.xxiv.7,8. ^ D.xiv, 19. 

* L.xi.20-23. ' E.xxii.31. ^ D,xiv.2I. 
® L.xvii. 15. 1" L.xxii.8, r^w/. Ez.xliv.3i,iv. 14. 

'* D.xiv. 23-29. 


orphan, and the widow, and the Lcvite}^ It is plain that the 
more bountiful provision was the latest of the two ; and, 
indeed, we may be sure that the priests and Levites would 
never have abandoned such ample rights secured to them, it 
is supposed, by the Divine Lawgiver. 

Further, the description in Exodus of the Tabernacle and 
its vessels betrays a singular relation to the Second Temple, 
built after the return from the Captivity. It has been ascer- 
tained that the dimensions of every part of the Tabernacle 
were exactly half those of the First or Solomon's Temple ; 
and from this it has been inferred that 'the form of the 
Temple was copied from the Tabernacle.' ^^ But how is it 
that not the least allusion is made to so important a fact in 
the account of the building of that Temple } Or how came 
it to pass that Solomon made for his Temple a golden altar 
of incense, a golden table of shewbread, golden candlesticks 
and bowls and snuffers and basons and spoons,^^ if these 
vessels existed already, made by Divine Command after a 
heavenly model shown to Moses in the Mount ? ^^ Rather, 
the arrangements of the Tabernacle do indeed generally 
correspond with those of the First Temple, as well as the 
Second, since the latter was, no doubt, copied in most re- 
spects from the former ; but on some points they vary from 
those of the First Temple, and here they are found to agree 
with the Second. Thus in Solomon's Temple there were 
folding-doors, which closed the entrance to the Holy of 
Holies ; ^^ but in the Second Temple there was merely a vail,^'* 
as there was also to be in the Tabernacle,^' In Solomon's 
Temple there stood ten golden candlesticks, five on the right 
hand and five on the Icft.^^ But in the Tabernacle there was 
to be only one seven-branched golden candlestick," and so 

'* e/. 2 7, 29. '« Diet, of the Bible, 1 1 1, p. 1 45 5-6. 

>' iK.vii. 48-50. '^ 1-6, XXV. 23-40. '",32,vii.5o. 

20 Matt.xxvii.51, 19. 21 E.xxvi.3i,&c. '^'^ iK,vii.49. 

" E.xxv,3i,6lc. 


there was only one in the Second Temple,^^ which was repre- 
sented, as carried in triumphal procession, on the Arch of 
Titus at Rome. 

In the Second Temple, of course, there was no Ark, since 
that was lost at the Captivity, having probably been de- 
stroyed in the conflagration of the City and the Temple. But 
that the Ark then lost was not the splendid Ark of Exodus 
— 'overlaid within and without with pure gold,' with *a 
golden crown, golden rings, and staves overlaid with gold,' 
and a * mercy-seat ' above it of pure gold, and two golden 
cherubs on the ends of it ^^ — we may safely conclude, not 
only from the consideration that so precious an object would 
hardly have been left to lie neglected in a private house, for 
many years and that under Samuel's rule,^^ but especially 
from the fact that no mention is made of its being carried off 
as spoil by Nebuchadnezzar. The brazen pillars of the 
Temple are named, the bases, and the brazen sea ; ' the pots, 
and the shovels, and the snuffers, and the spoons, and all the 
brazen vessels, and the fire-pans, and the bowls, such things 
as were of gold, in gold, and of silver, in silver, did the 
captain of the guard take away.' ^^ Could the precious 
golden Ark of Exodus have been omitted in this enumera- 
tion, if it really formed part of the plunder 1 The real ark 
was probably a mere wooden chest, such as the Egyptians 
and other nations used for carrying about in procession their 
sacred mysteries. Accordingly the Original Story speaks of 
the ark as going before the people in the wilderness * to search 
out a resting-place for them,' ^* and again, in the Book of 
Joshua, as being carried by the priests in procession when 
they crossed the Jordan on dry ground,-^ and when they 
marched around the walls of Jericho.-''^ In that case such an 

2< I Mace. i. 2 1, iv. 49, 50, 25 E.xxv. 11-13,17,18. 

"^"^ iS.\n. 1,2, comJ>,, 27 aK.xxv. 14-16. 

« N.X.23. 29 J.iii.6. 30,9. 


ark, however rudely made, would have been venerable for 
them as the sacred symbol of their religion ; but in the eyes 
of Nebuchadnezzar's captain of the guard it would probably 
have seemed to be worthless, and would have been left to 
perish amidst the ruins of the Temple. 

But when was this ark made in the Original Story ? At 
present there is no record of its construction : it is suddenly 
introduced as the ' ark of the Covenant of Jehovah.' ^^ Now 
we remember that Moses after breaking the two stone-tables 
is ordered to make two tables like the first, and to come with 
them up to the top of the Mount ; ^^ and at the end of forty 
days he receives these two tables on which had been inscribed 
by the Finger of GoD the * words of the Covenant,' ^' that is, 
the words in E.xxi-xxiii, 'which were on the first tables 
which he brake.' ^^ And then he comes down * with the two 
tables of the Testimony in his hand.' ^^ What now did he do 
with these august tables 1 There was as yet no proper recep- 
tacle for them, as the story now stands ; for the Tabernacle 
was not begun to be made ; and six months passed before it 
was set up,^^ and then, we are told, Moses 'took and put 
the Testimony — that is, the two stone-tables — into the Ark.' ^^ 
Nor were there even at this later time any priests or Levites 
as yet consecrated,^^ to take charge of the precious deposit, 
but Moses himself has to burn the incense and offer the 
sacrifices on that occasion.^^ It can hardly be meant that 
these sacred tables were merely to be placed loosely in the 
tent of Moses, which he had set up outside the Camp, under 
the charge of * the young man his servant Joshua.' '*° How 
then did he dispose of these tables of stone in a manner 
worthy of their awful character, as containing the words of the 

3' N.X.23. ^'^ E.xxxiv. 1,2. 83 2^28. 

3* v.i, seep. 134. " J, 29. 86 E.xl. 17. 

" z^.20. " L,viii, N.viii.5-22. 39 E.xl. 27, 29. 
" E.xxxiii.7-ii. 


Covenant made between Jehovah and Israel, engraved by 
the very Finger of God ? 

The Deuteronomist will help us to answer this question. 
He had, as we know, the Original Story in his hands, and 
can tell us what its contents were before the priestly writers 
meddled with it. And this is what he says upon this point : 
— ' At that time JEHOVAH said unto me, Hew thee two 
tables of stone like the first, and come-up unto Me into the 
Mount, and make thee an ark of wood. And I will write upon 
the tables the words that were on the first tables which thou 
brakest, and thou shalt place them in the ark. So I made an 
ark of shittim-wood, and I hewed two tables of stone like the 
first ; and I went up into the Mount, and the two tables were 
in my hand. And He wrote upon the tables according to 
the first writing, the Ten Words.' ^^ Now all this is copied 
almost word for word from the account in Exodus,'^^ which it 
is plain the writer must have had before him ; only instead of 
* the words of the Covenant,' as it stood in that narrative, he 
writes here * the Ten Words,' referring, of course, to the Ten 
Commandments, which he himself had inserted, as having 
been spoken by JEHOVAH ' in the Mount out of the midst of 
the fire in the day of the Assembly,' ^^ but inserted in a place 
where (as we have seen ^^) there is really no room for them in 
the Original Story. Otherwise this statement is an exact 
transcript, as from the mouth of Moses in the first person, of 
what is there related of him in the third, except that the 
Deuteronomist has here three short clauses, which do not now 
appear in the Original Story — 'and make thee an ark of 
woody ' and thon shalt place them, i7i the ark, 'so I made an 
ark of shittim-wood' It is plain that he must have had before 
him, in the copy which he so closely follows, corresponding 
clauses, which were of necessity struck out by the priestly 

" D.x.i-4a. « E.xxxiv. 1,2,4,28b, " D.x.4. '•^ p. 105. 


writer when he introduced his own account of the making of 
the splendid Ark of the Later Legislation.'*'^ And, of course, 
when the Deuteronomist makes Moses say in addition, * And 
Jehovah gave them unto me, and I turned and came-down 
from the Mount, and put the tables in the ark which I had 
made, and there they are, as JEHOVAH commanded me,''**^ it 
is reasonable to believe that corresponding words existed also 
in his time in the Original Story, which must have been like- 
wise of necessity removed when the priestly writer inserted 
his own account of the tables being placed in the Ark by 
Moses half-a-year afterwards.'*^ 

Thus, then, according to the Original Story, Moses made 
by Divine Command a simple ark of wood — of shittim-wood, 
he tells us — as a receptacle for the stone-tables at the same 
time that he made the tables themselves, and it stood there- 
fore ready to receive them as soon as he came down with 
them, and it did receive them — ' he put the tables in the ark 
which he had made, as JEHOVAH commanded him.''*^ Hence- 
forth it is always called ' the ark of the covenant of Jehovah* 
in the Original Story of the Pentateuch, as it is also in 
Deuteronomy,'*^ as containing the two tables of the Covenant; 
whereas throughout the priestly Legislation it is always called 
* the Ark of the Testimony.' ^° 

But who were to be the guardians of this treasure ? The 
Deuteronomist, with his knowledge of the Original Story in 
its primitive form, undisturbed by the work of the later 
priestly legislators, will help us here also. The passage which 
I have just been quoting from the Book of Deuteronomy is 
followed by two verses which are quite unintelligible : as one 
eminent writer notes in his well-known Commentary, * They 
so break in upon the connexion of Moses' discourse, and give 

** E.xxv. i6-22,xxxvii. 1-9. <« D.x.4b,5. *'' E.xl.20. 

" N.x.33,xiv.44. « D.x.8,xxxi.9,25,26. 

*• E. xxv. 22, xxvi. 33, 34, XXX. 6, 26, xxxi. 7, xxxix. 35, xl. 3, 5, 2 1 , N. iv. 5, vii. 89. 


such an account of the names of places, that they perplex 
commentators ' ; ^^ while the New Commentary says, * It is 
possible that these two verses may be, as some other notices 
of a like character, a gloss.' '^^ These two verses, in fact, are 
probably a later priestly insertion, consisting mainly of a frag- 
ment belonging to the list of stations in the wilderness in 
N.xxi of the Original Story, which contained also the state- 
ment with reference to one of them, * there Aaron died and 
there he was buried ' — ^just exactly as in the same narrative 
we find it said with reference to Kadesh, ' there Miriam died 
and there she was buried ' ^^ — but without any allusion to 
Aaron's priesthood. To this notice, however, the priestly 
writer has added ' and Eleazar his son acted-as-priest in his 
stead ' ; and by some mistake or accident the whole has been 
introduced at a point of the story where it is utterly unmean- 
ing, since Moses in the previous context is speaking of their 
being under Sinai in the first year after the march out of 
Egypt, and Aaron's death occurred, as the story now stands, 
nearly forty years afterward s.^"* 

Passing by, therefore, these two verses we read as follows : 
— 'At that time JEHOVAH separated the tribe of Levi to bear 
the ark of the Covenant of JEHOVAH, to stand before JE- 
HOVAH to minister and to bless in His Name, unto this day. 
Wherefore Levi hath no part nor inheritance with his 
brethren : JEHOVAH is his inheritance, as JEHOVAH thy 
Elohim promised him.' ^^ Let us mark well what the Deute- 
ronomist here says, who had before him the Original Story in 
its primitive form. 'At that time' — which words, says the New 
Commentary, ' certainly connect themselves with v.^, and not 
with v.y ' ^^ — that is, ' connect themselves ' with the passage 
we have just been considering with reference to the making 
of the ark under Sinai. ' At that time,' then — viz., at the 

^> Rev. Thomas Scott on D.x.6,7. " i.p,836. " N.xx.i. 

" N.xxxiii.38. " D.x.8,9. 56 i,p.836. 


time when Moses came-down from the Mount and put the 
tables in the ark which he had made — ' JEHOVAH separated 
the tribe of Levi ' — the zvJtolc tribe — for the sacred duties of 
the priesthood. And now we remember that, only just before, 
when Moses had dashed the first pair of tables in pieces at 
sight of the Golden Calf, the Levitcs are said to have come 
forward zealously at his summons, as if they also, his fellow- 
tribesmen, shared in his abhorrence of this idolatry, and to 
have massacred 3,000 of the people, sparing neither kith nor 
kin — 'for ]\Ioses had said, Consea'ate yowselves to-day to 
Jehovah, even every man upon his son and upon his 
brother, that He may bestow a blessing upon you this day.' ^^ 
What * blessing ' can here be meant except this priesthood 
bestowed upon the whole tribe of Levi, so that henceforth 
they should have no landed estate in Israel, but 'Jehovah 
should be their inheritance ' ^^ — that is, they should have 
Jehovah's share in the sacrifices and offerings of the whole 
community.-^ Not a word, however, is here said about ^^r^;^ 
and the sojis of Aaron being chosen exclusively to be priests, 
whereas the Levitcs were not to * come nigh * the priestly 
office, ' lest they die,' according to the later priestly law.^^ 
How, indeed, could Aaron have deserved any special 'blessing' 
on this occasion — Aaron, the very head and front of the 
transgression in the matter of the Golden Calf ^° — much less 
to have the priesthood confined to himself and his sons, to 
the exclusion of the faithful Levites who had so zealously 
avenged it .? But, in fact, as I have said before, there is no 
sign whatever that in the Original Story Aaron ever acted as 
a priest at all, any more than his brother Moses ; though in 
that narrative the tribe, to which Moses and Aaron belonged, 
seems to have been marked out from the first as the priestly 
caste, but without any of the exorbitant pretensions of the 

" E.xxxii. 25-29. *^ D.X.9. 

" N.iii. io,38,xvi.40,xviii.7. ^^ E.xxxii, 1-5,21-25. 


later priesthood, or any special privileges attached to them, 
unless they were actually officiating as priests.^^ Thus in 
Jeremiah's time the ordinary Levites are reckoned with the 
poor and needy of the land ; ^^ and in the list of David's 
officers, the chief officiating priests, Zadok and Abiathar, are 
ranked low down in the scale of dignity,^^ while in Solomon's 
time they are placed still lower.^'' 

There can be little doubt, therefore, that when in the 
Original Story Moses comes-down with the second set of 
tables in his hands and places them in the ark, then in that 
Story — * at that time ' — ' Jehovah separated the tribe of 
Levi ' for the priesthood, and assigned to the whole body of 
Levites 'the fire-offerings of Jehovah, Jehovah's inheri- 
tance,' ^^ or, as it stands, 'Jehovah' Himself,^^ as their in- 
heritance. Of course, any such passage must also of necessity 
have been cancelled by the later priestly writer, when inserting 
his own account of Aaron and his sons being called to the 
priesthood ^^ and of the Levites being taken instead of the 
firstborns of Israel and given to the priests as servants.^^ 
But the passage in question, which the Deuteronomist must 
have had before him, is evidently referred to in a part of the 
Original Story in the Book of Joshua — ' Only unto the tribe 
of Levi He gave no inheritance : the fire-offerings of Jehovah, 
the Elohim of Israel, they are his inheritance, as He spake 
to him ' ; ^^ and there is no place in the whole Pentateuch 
where Jehovah 'spake' such things of the 'tribe of Levi,' 
unless in the passage in question, now missing, which we sup- 
pose to have existed at one time in the Original Story. 

Thus God Himself, the ' Father of lights,' by means of the 
facts which He has enabled us first clearly to ascertain in the 

" D.xviii.i-8. «2 D.xii. I9,27,29,xxvi. 12. " 2S.viii. 16,17 

" iK.iv.2-4. « D.xviii.i, «6 D.x.9,xviii.2. 

" E.xxviii, N.iii.3,4. ^ N.iii.5-13. 69 j.xiii.14. 


present age, takes from us the Bible as an idol which men 
have set up in their ignorance, to bow down to it and worship 
it. But He restores it to us to be reverenced as the work of 
men in whose hearts the same human thoughts were stirring, 
the same hopes and fears were dweUing, the same gracious 
Spirit was operating, thousands of years ago, as now. It is 
true, the priestly portions of the Pentateuch are rather of use 
to us as a foil to the rest, at least to the Book of Deuteronomy. 
They show how the thirst for spiritual power and pre-emi- 
nence, the desire to secure for themselves dignity and in- 
fluence, not to speak of other worldly advantages, as the only 
authorised dispensers of the Divine favour and blessing for 
the soul of man, which in all ages and under all forms of 
religion have more or less distinctly characterised the priest- 
hood, played a very conspicuous part in Jewish affairs after 
the return from the Captivity. GOD only knows, who has 
suffered it, how dark a page in human history the history of 
the priesthood has been, from the isamtsi of the Zulu to the 
Jesuit of Christendom — how ^ the fine gold has become dim,' 
the finest and brightest specimens of man have been corrupted 
and distorted by the false and poisonous notion that one man, 
or, rather, that one order of men, is nearer to GOD than others, 
not by virtue of their goodness, but merely as the prerogative 
of their class — that one order of men has been invested with 
this prerogative, and made the channel of Divine grace and 
communication to their fellows in some supernatural, magical 
way. Mysterious, doubtless, are all Divine communications 
— though not more or otherwise mysterious than human 
nature and its Divinely-appointed relationships. But this 
notion of the priesthood is specially antagonistic to human 
relationships, and tends ever to interfere with them in the 
most ungodly, because inlmmaUy manner. And it is altogether 
alien to the spirit of Christianity, of which the leading features 
are the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man. 



* Ye are,' says St. Peter, ' a royal priesthood ' ; ^° *ye are built 
up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual 
sacrifices, acceptable to GoD by Jesus Christ' "^ The idea 
expressed in these words, the true Christian idea, is that all 
Christians as such are brought into the immediate presence 
of God, and have access to His mercy-seat, to pour forth 
their prayers and ' the fruit of their lips giving thanks to His 

But there were prophets also in those days, ' preachers of 
righteousness,' according to their lights, as well as priests ; 
and one of these it is who says to the people in Jehovah's 
Name, ' Now, therefore, if ye will obey My voice indeed and 
keep My Covenant . . . then ye shall be unto Me a kingdom 
of priests and an holy people.' ^^ There is nothing of the 
priestly spirit here, though he had not been blessed with the 
light of Christianity and still restricts the privileges of GOD'S 
children to the ' House of Jacob,' the ' children of Israel.' 
And there are prophets still among us, raised up in this as 
in every age, to speak God's word, the word of truth, to their 
brethren, whether in the pulpit or out of it. And that 
Living Word, which is the Light and Life of men, is speaking 
now to us in all those words of our fellow-men, which have 
brought us in any degree to the clearer knowledge of Him 

* whom no man hath seen or can see.' But let us be sure 
that, as it is GOD who teaches us by means of our fellow- 
men, we may expect that He will speak to us so that we can 
hear and understand — that He will speak to our hearts and 
carry inward demonstration to our spiritual being — that, 
when He speaks. His wolds will come home to us, and will be 
their own evidence. 

" iPet.ii.9. " f.5. " E.xix.5,6. 



The Ark and Phinehas mentioned in an interpolated passage of Judges ; the 
stories of two Levites, as told in that Book, considered ; no signs of any special 
dignity having been attached to the tribe in that age ; the story of Samuel 
and Eli considered ; the meaning of the * faithful priest, ' who should be 
raised up in Eli's place ; the notices of Levites in the Books of Samuel and 
Kings examined ; no distinction made between Priests and Levites before the 
Captivity ; any Levite might act as Priest, though, perhaps, in some subor- 
dinate office, as ' doorkeeper ' ; the Gibeonites and other menials of the 
Sanctuary in the time of David and Solomon ; the germ of the idea of dis- 
tinguishing between Priests and Levites to be found in the act of Josiah, who 
degraded the idolatrous priests of Judah ; this fructified in the mind of 
Ezekiel, who sharply separates the faithful Levites, the 'sons of Zadok,' 
from those Levites who had ministered at idolatrous altars ; the idea carried 
out after the Captivity, though few of those degraded priests seem to have 
returned ; the priestly legislation easily introduced after the Captivity by 
reason of the enormous preponderance of priests in the new community. 


HAT is the real meaning of the line being drawn 
so sharply in the Levitical Law between the 
Priests and the Levites ? Let us first see what is 
told us about them in the history from the earliest 
days down to the time of the Captivity, beginning with the 
Book of Judges. In one passage of this Book we read as 
follows : — * And the children of Israel enquired of JEHOVAH ; 
for the Ark of the Covenant of Elohim was there in those 
days, and Phinehas the son of Eleazar the son of Aaron stood 
before it in those days.' ^ But this statement about the Ark 
and Phinehas is clearly a later insertion, as is suggested at 
once by the fact that already in the very same chapter the 
children of Israel have twice before ' gone up and asked 
counsel of Jehovah,' ^ without any mention being made of 
the Ark or Phinehas. It has manifestly been inserted by 
some priestly writer, who could not endure that the people 
should 'ask counsel of Jehovah' except through the inter- 
vention of a 'priest the son of Aaron.' Otherwise in the 
whole Book of Judges there is not the least allusion to Ark 
or Tabernacle, Priest or Levite — not even in the Song of the 
prophetess Deborah,^ in which nine tribes are named, but not 

1 Ju.xx.27,28. ■' 2'. 18,23. s Ja.v. 


the tribe of Levi — except that two Levites figure as principal 
characters in the last five chapters under peculiar circumstances. 
For who are these two Levites ? I have made some 
allusion to them in a former Lecture ; ^ but we must now con- 
sider their stories somewhat more at length. The first is a 
homeless vagrant, a Levite by birth, who, after living for a 
time at Bethlehem, goes to ' sojourn where he might find a 
place,' and makes his way to Mount Ephraim, where he comes 
to the house of a man called Micah, who had made for him- 
self a * House of Elohim,' a sort of private chapel, which he 
had fitted up with the usual accessories of worship in those 
days, ' a graven image, and a molten image, an ephod, and 
teraphim,' and ' had consecrated one of his sons to be priest.' 
Micah says to the Levite, ' Dwell with me and be unto me a 
father and a priest, and I will give thee ten pieces of silver a 
year, and a suit of clothes and thy food.' And the Levite 
consents, and so ' Micah consecrated the Levite, and the young 
man became his priest and was in the house of Micah. And 
Micah said. Now know I that Jehovah will do me good, 
seeing that I have a Levite to be my priest' ^ This satis- 
faction of Micah, at have secured ' a Levite for his priest,* 
seems to imply that the Levites had really been separated as 
a priestly caste, as they were (according to our view ^) in the 
Original Story at the time of the Exodus. And so in the 
somewhat later time of Eli we read, * There came a man of 
God unto Eli and said unto him, Thus saith JEHOVAH, Did I 
plainly appear unto thy father's house, when they were in 
Egypt in Pharaoh's house } ' — that is, to Moses and Aaron, as 
representatives of the house of Levi. ' And did I choose them 
out of all the tribes of Israel,' — that is, the whole tribe of Levi, 
— ' to be My priest, to offer upon Mine altar, to burn incense, 
to wear an ephod before me } And did I give unto thy 
father's house all the fire-offerings of the children of Israel .? ' ^ 
* p.66. 5 Ju.xvii.5_13. 6 p.240. ' iS.ii.27,28, 


The Levite in the case before us was seeking to be 
employed as a priest at one of the numerous high-places of 
the land ; and he finds such employment in Micah's chapel, 
ministering there for Micah himself and * the men that were 
in the houses near to Micah's house.' ^ Micah, we see, him- 
self consecrates this Levite, as he had consecrated his own son, 
and as afterwards Jeroboam consecrated priests from all parts 
of the people.^ This priest, however, with the ephod, tera- 
phim, and graven image, was carried off by a troop of Danites, 
who passed by the house on their way to * seek an inheritance 
to dwell in,' and overcame his remonstrances by saying, * Hold 
thy peace! laythiro hand upon thy mouth, and go with us, 
and be to us a father and priest. Is it better for thee to be 
a priest unto the house of one man, or that thou be a 
priest unto a tribe and a family in Israel ? ' ^° And so they 
marched northward and fell suddenly upon Laish at the ex- 
tremity of the land of Canaan, whose inhabitants they killed, 
and seized and rebuilt the town, which they called Dan ; and 
there they set up their graven image ; ^^ and there also, at 
Dan, as also at Bethel, the two extremities of his kingdom, 
Jeroboam set up in after days two calves, the symbols of the 
Sun-God, and bade his people go to one of these for their 
great annual festivals, for they had had enough of going up 
to the Temple at Jerusalem.^^ 

Then follows an account of another Levite, who also lived 
in no Levitical city, but on the side of Mount Ephraim.'^ 
In his time Jerusalem was still in the hands of the Jcbusites, 
the ' city of a stranger,' and he fears to enter it ; ^^ the events 
therefore occurred before the time of David,^^ and, in fact, 
it is expressly stated that both this story and the former 
belong to a time * when there was no king in Israel,' ^^ that 

^ Ju.xviii.22. ^ iK,xii.3i. '° Ju.xviii, 1-21. " 7'.27-2g,3i. 

" iK.xii. 28-30. '^Ju.xix. I. '*z^. 10-12. 

" 2S.V.6-9. '8 Ju.xvii.6,xviii. i,xix. I,xxi.25. 


is, before the reign of Saul. This Levite was ' going through * 
the House of Jehovah/^ probably Bethel, or perhaps was 
going to it, in order to become a priest there, when * men of 
Behal,' Benjamites, beset him. at Gibeah and ill-used his con- 
cubine to death ; '^ and the narrative so closely resembles in 
its main features and its phraseology the story of Lot and 
the Sodomites,^^ that it seems probable that the account of the 
destruction of Sodom for the wickedness of its inhabitants was 
based on this very occurrence, which may have been still 
keenly remembered, with its sorrowful consequences to Israel 
as here detailed,^^ at the time when the writer in Genesis 
lived, that is, as we suppose, in the days of Saul or David. 

As yet we have no sign of the grandeur of the priesthood, 
or of the dignity of the priests compared with the Levites. 
And now we come to the Books of Samuel. Here Samuel's 
father, Elkanah, was apparently not a Levite, but * a man of 
Mount Ephraim, an Ephrathite ' ^^ or Ephraimite, like Jero- 
boam.^^ Yet Samuel his son slept in the Tabernacle at 
Shiloh,^^ and acted throughout his life as a priest, ^'^ More- 
over, according to the priestly law, all Levites belonged to 
Jehovah from their birth,^-^ though they were not to minister 
till thirty years of age,^^ which in another place is strangely 
altered to twenty-five.^^ But Samuel is here ' given ' or ' lent * 
to Jehovah by his mother Hannah, ^^ and he ministers before 
Jehovah in the Tabernacle as a child, ' girded with a linen 
ephod,' 2^ that is, dressed as a priest. 

Eli and his two sons appear to have been the only priests 

'^ Ju.xix.i8. J 8 z/, 22-28. 

•^ comp. t/.5 with G.xviii.5 — Z/.20 with G.xix.2— z'.22 with G.xix,4,5 — 2^.23,24, 
with G.xix.6-8. 

20 Ju.xx,xxi. 21 is.i.i. 22 1K.xi.26. 

" iS.iii.3, which should be translated, 'And ere the lamp of Elohim went 
out, and Samuel lying down in the Temple of Jehovah, where the ark of 
Elohim was,' and not as in the E.V. 

24 iS.vii.9,ix.i3,x.8,xvi.i-5. 2^ N.iii.12,13. 26 N.iv.3. 

" N.viii.24. 28 iS.i.28,ii.20. 29 iS.ii.ii,i8,iii.i. 


at Shiloh ; ^° and there is no hint of any multitude of Levites 
assisting at the Sanctuary ; we read only of the priest's 
servant, who, instead of waiting for the fat to be burnt reve- 
rently upon the altar, and then taking the priest's portion 
from the sacrifice, comes with violence, and dashes his three- 
pronged fork into the boiler, and brings up for the priest 
whatever he can thus lay hold of ^^ It is plain that in those 
days there was no law like that of the Deuteronomist,^^ 
assigning the parts to be given to the priests, — much less the 
larger provision of the later priestly law, the breast and the 
hind-leg,^^ far surpassing any perquisite which the most 
dexterous servant would be likely to secure for his master in 
this way. For the sins of his sons, however, and his own sin 
in not restraining them, Eli's judgment is pronounced as 
follows : — * I said indeed that thy house and thy father's 
house should walk before Me for ever : but now Jehovah 
saith, Be it far from Me ! for them that honour Me I will 
honour, and they that despise Me shall be lightly esteemed. 
. . . And I will raise Me up a faithful priest, who shall do 
according to that which is in My heart and in My mind ; and 
I will build him a sure house, and he shall walk before Mine 
anointed ' — that is, the king — * for ever. And it shall come 
to pass that everyone that is left in thine house shall come and 
crouch to him for a piece of silver and a morsel of bread, and 
shall say. Put me, I pray thee, into one of the priest's offices 
that I may eat a piece of bread.' ^^ 

It might seem at first sight that, according to these words, 
the whole House of Levi, to which the promise had been 
made, was to be set aside. But the * faithful priest,' whom 
Jehovah would raise up in the place of Eli, is evidently to be 
placed in a position of authority, to whom other priests might 
* crouch ' for bread : that is, the words refer to the chief-- 

3« iS.i.9,ii. I2-I7,iv.4. =" iS.ii. 13-17,29. ^- D,xviii.3, 

33 N.xviii.18. 34 iS.ii. 30,35,36. 


priesthood, and the writer probably means to say, ' the chief- 
priesthood shall not be continued \a thy line,' Eli having come 
in regular descent from the chief officiating priest at the time of 
the Exodus. You remember how upon the death of David 
the old priest Abiathar, Eli's great-great-grandson,^^ who for 
nearly fifty years had followed faithfully the fortunes of 
David,^^ and * had been afflicted in all wherein David was 
afflicted,' ^^ together with Joab the commander-in-chief, sup- 
ported the claims of Adonijah, David's eldest son, to succeed 
to the throne,^^ and how ' Zadok the priest and Benaiah the 
son of Jehoiada and Nathan the prophet were not with 
Adonijah,' ^^ but espoused the cause of his youngest son, 
Solomon,'*^ taking into their counsel his mother Bathsheba, ^^ 
the guilty wife of Uriah the Hittite, with whom David had 
carried on an adulterous intercourse, and then had had her 
husband murdered, to conceal, if possible, the sin.^^ The aged 
king, now in his dotage, is persuaded to recognise publicly 
Solomon as his successor ; ^^ and one of the first acts of Solo- 
mon's reign is to put to death his brother Adonijah,^"^ and the 
next to depose the old chief-priest Abiathar,'*^ and the next to 
have Joab killed,''^ in accordance with David's dying sugges- 
tion ^^ — ' and the king put Benaiah ' — his own supporter — * in 
Joab's room over the host, and Zadok the priest did the king 
put in the room of Abiathar.' ^^ And so, says the writer, 

* Solomon thrust out Abiathar from being priest unto Jeho- 
vah, that he might fulfil the word of Jehovah which he 
spake concerning the house of Eli in Shiloh,'^^ — this very 

* word ' spoken of Eli having been in all probability suggested 
to the writer in Solomon's days by the wish to account in 
some way for this outrageous act. It is very plain, however, 

35 iS.xiv.3,xxii.20. '« iS.xxii.20,21. " 1K.ii.26. ^s iK.i.7. 

'" z'.S. 40 „,3g 41 2,.ii^&c. « 2S.xi.2-17. 

" iK.i.28-35. ** iK.ii. 13-25. « eA26,27. "« r^28-34. 


that we have only an ordinary Court-cabal, and all the well- 
known features of Oriental despotism. But how incongruous 
with the ideas of the later priestly legislation is this act, by 
which a young prince ejects summarily on his own authority 
one high-priest and puts another in his room ! How opposed to 
them also is the notion of there being two chief priests during 
the latter part of David's reign,-^^ and those not father and 
son, so that one, according to the priestly law,^^ might duly 
succeed to the other ! Zadok, however, was most probably 
also of Levite descent, and he may have been even related to 
Abiathar in some way, and so may have been appointed to 
assist him in his duties, when these were, no doubt, increased 
by the erection of the Tabernacle on Mount Zion and the 
bringing up of the Ark. It would seem that, aided by his 
more active age, and perhaps by the greater vigour of his 
character, he took the lead of his aged colleague, since he is 
always named first of the two, ' Zadok and Abiathar.' '^^ 

In the two Books of Samuel, Moses and Aaron are spoken 
of together in one passage,^^ as co-leaders of the people : but 
nothing is said about Aaron's priesthood, nor is he named 
again either in these or in the two Books of Kings. The 
Levites are mentioned twice in the Books of Samuel. In one 
place they take down the ark from the cart,'^'' on which it had 
been brought back by the Philistines : in the other they carry 
the ark with Zadok, when David flees from Jerusalem before 
the coming of Absalom ^^ — which agrees with the examples 
in the Original Story of ' the priests the Levites ' carrying 
the ark across the Jordan and around the walls of Jericho.'^^ 
In the Books of Kings also the Levites are twice mentioned. 
In one place Jeroboam is reproached for making priests 
* from all parts of the people who were not of the sons of 

^^ 2S.viii. 17. *' E.xxix.29,30, c^w/. N.xx. 26,28, 

^- 2S.viii. I7,xv.24, 27,29,35, 36,xvii. I5,xix. i i,xx.25, iK.iv.4. 

^^ iS.xii,6,8. ^' " 2S.xv,24. ^" J.iii.6, 14, I7,vi. 12. 


Levi ; ' ^^ and this, of course, implies that the Levites were 
regarded, in Judah at all events, as the priestly caste, in ac- 
cordance with the view maintained by the writer of the 
Original Story ; ^® but it is also plain that the writer, Jeremiah, 
laid no stress upon their being ' sons of Aaron.' And they 
are mentioned again in the account of the dedication of 
Solomon's Temple, where, after the statement that * all the 
elders of Israel came and the pinests took up the ark,' it is 
added, * and they brought up the ark of Jehovah and the 
Tent of Meeting and all the holy vessels that were in the 
Tent, even those did the pidests and the Levites bring up.' ^' 
But this verse will be seen to break the thread of the story, 
which also before and after speaks only about ' the ark,' not 
* the ark of Jehovah,' as here. If these 'holy vessels,* made 
by express Divine command by Moses, were actually * in the 
Tent ' at this time — for instance, the golden altar of incense, 
the golden table of shewbread, the golden seven-branched 
candlestick, with its flowers and lamps and tongs of pure 
gold — what became of them, these most august and precious 
memorials of the march through the wilderness, when Solo- 
mon made the corresponding vessels for the Temple } ^^ 
Were they placed in the ' Tent of Meeting,' set up inside the 
Temple, or were the Tent and its vessels laid aside and for- 
gotten } At all events we hear no more of them : the grand 
Mosaic Tabernacle disappears silently henceforth from the 
history. The fact is that we have here another priestly in- 
sertion of a later age, with the phrase ' priests aJid Levites,' 
as if they were different orders like * priests and deacons,' a 
phrase which never occurs elsewhere in any book written 
before the Captivity, but appears very frequently in those 
written after it.^^ 

" iK.xii.31. 58 p. 165. 59 iK.viii.4. «o iK.vii. 48-50. 

«' iCh.xiii.2,xv.4,&c., 2Ch.vii.6.viu. I4,i5,&c., Ezr. i. 5, ii. 70,^^0., Neh.vii 
73,viii. I3,&c. 


In short, the priests and the Levites were identical before 
the Captivity, or, rather, any Levite could act as priest,^^ 
though he may have had to go through some form of con- 
secration before actually entering upon the office. In older 
times, as we have seen,^^ there were high-places all over the 
land in both kingdoms, at which such priests were needed, 
besides the Central Sanctuaries, at Jerusalem in the southern, 
and at Bethel and Dan in the northern, kingdom. Jeroboam, 
it seems, did not employ exclusively the tribe of Levi : though 
it is not said that he allowed no Levites to be priests in his 
kingdom. But he probably attached no weight to the state- 
ment of the Original Story which restricted the priesthood 
on Divine authority to that tribe, and he employed for it men 
of all tribes indiscriminately. In Judah, however, and espe- 
cially in Jerusalem, where most probably that story was 
written, the Levites were regarded as the only lawful priests 
all along, down to the time of the Captivity. There was no 
distinction of ' orders ' as yet between the priests and the 
Levites, though there was, of course, a chief-priest who had 
the oversight of the Sanctuary,^'* and to whom a needy 
Levite would have recourse when seeking employment, to 
whom he might even have humbly to ' crouch,' praying to be 
put into one or other of the priests' offices, that he might eat 
a piece of bread, — for instance, into that of a ' doorkeeper,' 
which before the Captivity was filled by priests.^^ And it 
may have been with a view to prevent such haughtiness that 
the Deuteronomist provides that, if any Levites chose to 
come to Jerusalem, 'with all the desire of their mind,' to 
officiate as priests there, they should have * like portions to 
eat ' with all the rest of their brethren who ' stood there 
before JEHOVAH.' ^^ 

*2 D.xviii.6-8. " p. 107. 

** 2K.xi.4,&c.,xii.2,7,9,xvi. 10, ii,xxii.4,8,xxv. 18. 

" 2K xii.9, co7np. xxii.4,xxv. i8. es D.xviii.6-8. 


For still lower work connected with the Sanctuary there 
were probably attached to the Temple, as servants to the 
priesthood, the persons spoken of in later books as * Nethi- 
nim ' ^^ and * Solomon's servants.' ^^ The word ' Nethinim ' 
means ' given,' and we read in the Original Story that the 
Gibeonites, whose ambassadors had beguiled Israel into making 
peace with Joshua on the pretence of having come from a 
far-distant land,^' were 'given' by him for the work of 
hewing wood and drawing water for the ' House of his 
Elohim,' for the 'altar of Jehovah,' ^^ But Saul, we are 
told, slew the Gibeonites,^^ who perhaps were servants to the 
priests at Nob when he massacred there ' eighty-five persons 
wearing the ephod,' ^^ and may even be reckoned among this 
number as connected with the Sanctuary, since there is no 
sign in the history of so many priests existing at that time. 
Thus there remained only a few of the original ' Nethinim,' 
by whomsoever these were really first employed for such 
work : and there would consequently be a lack of servants, 
as well as priests, for the greater demands of David's Taber- 
nacle and, at all events, for those of Solomon's Temple. 
Hence, most probably, Solomon assigned additional servants 
for these menial offices ^^ from the remnant of the Canaanites, 
upon whom he ' levied a tribute of bondservice.' ^'^ 

During the Captivity, however, the idea seems to have 
been developed of distinguishing between those Levites who 
had taken part in idolatrous practices, themselves or their 
parents, and the faithful Levites who had adhered to the pure 
worship of Jehovah. We find the germ of this idea in the 
account of Josiah's Reformation, where we read — ' And he 
brought all the priests out of the cities of Judah, and defiled 

" iCh.ix.2, Ezr.ii.43,58,7o,vii.7,viii. 17,20, Neh.iii.26,3i,vii.46,6o,73,x.28, 

"8 Ezr.ii.55, 58, Neh.vii.57,6o,xi.3. «» J.ix.3-16. 

™ z'.23,27. " 2S.xxi.2. " iS.xxii. 18,19. 

" Ezr.\'iii.20. '♦ 2K.ix.2i. 


the high-places where the priests had burned incense. . . . 
Nevertheless the priests of the hirh-placcs came not up to the 
altar of Jehovaii at Jerusalem, but they did eat of the un- 
leavened bread among their brethren.' ^^ Thus, whereas 
Josiah killed without mercy the idolatrous priests in the cities 
of Samaria — ' he slew all the priests of the high-places that 
were there before the altars,' '*^ — he only degraded the idola- 
trous Levites of Judah : they were not to officiate henceforth 
at the altar, but they were still allowed to ' eat unleavened 
bread ' — that is, probably, to keep the Feast of Unleavened 
Bread, with its special rite, the Passover, — ' among their 
brethren,' and in this way they took part, w^e may believe, 
in the great Passover which w^as presently kept at Jerusalem.'^^ 
This was probably done by the advice of the chief-priest 
Hilkiah, who could not endure that these idolatrous priests 
should be admitted at once to the full privileges of the 
Temple. And the idea, thus thrown out, seems to have 
fructified in the mind of Ezekiel. For in Ez.xl-xlviii, 
written ' in the fourteenth year after that the city was 
smitten,' ^^ he has visions of God,^^ and plans out a scheme 
for the rebuilding of the City and the Temple, and the re- 
establishment of worship at Jerusalem ; and he strongly dis- 
tinguishes in his new community between those Levites ' who 
had kept Jehovah's charge and had not gone astray when 
the children of Israel went astray ' ^° and the other Levites 
who had done this.*^ These faithful priests he calls ' the sons 
of Zadok,' though certainly not as lineal descendants of 
Zadok ; since those very abominations, which Josiah cleared 
out of the Temple, must have accumulated under high-priests 
of Zadok's line, from the time of Solomon downwards. Per- 
haps he had in his mind the words addressed to Eli and 
pointing to Zadok, ' I will raise Me up a faithful priest, that 

" 2K.xxiii.8,9. '« 7'.20. " z/.2i-23. " Ez.xl.i. 

" z/.2,&c. *" Ez.xlviii. II. »' Ez.xliv. 10. 


shall do according to that which is in Mine heart and in My 
mind/ ®^ and speaks of these as being * sons of Zadok ' in 
spirit, according to this description of him. However this 
may be, he draws a strong Hne of demarcation between these 
two classes of priests, though he calls them both Levites — 
saying of the one, ' The priests the Levites, the sons of Zadok, 
who kept the charge of My Sanctuary when the children of 
Israel went astray from Me, they shall come near to Me 
to minister unto Me, and they shall stand before Me to offer 
unto Me the fat and the blood, saith the Lord Jehovah ; 
they shall enter into My Sanctuary, and they shall come near 
to My Table to minister unto Me, and they shall keep My 
charge : ' ^^ whereas of the other class he says, ' But the Levites, 
who went far from Me when Israel went astray, who went 
astray from Me after their idols, let them bear their iniquity ; 
and let them be in My Dwelling ministers appointed at the 
gates of the House, and ministering in the House ; let them 
slay the burnt-offering and the sacrifice for the people and 
stand before them to minister to them ; because they 
ministered to them before their idols, and became to the 
House of Israel a stumbling-block of iniquity, therefore 
have I lifted up My hand against them, saith the Lord 
Jehovah, and they shall bear their iniquity. And tJiey shall 
not draiv-near to Me to act as priests unto Me, and to draw- 
near beside any of My holy things unto the Holy of Holies, 
and they shall bear their shame and their abominations which 
they have done. And I have given them as keepers of the 
charge of tJie House for all its service and for all which shall 
be done in it.' ^'* 

He still, however, calls this latter class of Levites ' priests,' 
speaking of ' the priests the keepers of the charge of the 
House ' ; ®^ but he never speaks anywhere of * the priests the 

82 iS.ii.35, comp. 1K.ii.27. ^^ Ez.xliv.15,16. 

** 2^.10-14. " Ez.xl.45. 


sons of Aaron.' In short, as I have said, these Levites were 
but degraded priests. And there can be Httle doubt that, on 
the return from the Captivity, Ezekiel's ideal view was actually 
carried out, and those Levites, who had been faithful to the 
purer worship of Jehovah, themselves or their parents, 
were henceforth dignified exclusively with the name and office 
of ' priest,' and very probably themselves insisted tenaciously 
on this distinction being maintained ; while the children of 
those who had ministered at idolatrous altars were allowed 
to officiate still, but only as a class inferior to the priesthood. 
They were not indeed to be ' hewers of wood and drawers of 
water,' for which and other merely menial offices the Nethinim 
and Solomon's servants were, no doubt, employed. But they 
were to act as gatekeepers and choristers, and to slay the 
burnt-offerings for the people, and generally to ' stand before 
them, to minister unto them,' ^^ whereas ' the priests the 
Levites the sons of Zadok ' were to * stand before Jehovah, 
to minister unto JEHOVAH.' ^^ Probably very few were 
willing to ' bear their shame ' in this way ; at all events, 
though more than 4,000 priests returned from the Captivity,^® 
in the proportion of one priest to ten laymen,®^ only 341 
Levites are said to have accompanied them.^° This enormous 
preponderance of sacerdotal power in the new community 
explains the ease with which the priestly legislation was im- 
posed, as if revealed by Jehovah to Moses, upon an ignorant 
laity, who, returning under such circumstances, would pro- 
bably for the most part be credulous devotees, the very 
people to be priest-ridden. Things did not go altogether 
smoothly even thus ; and Nehemiah tells us how a son of 
the high-priest in his time had married the daughter of the 
heathen Sanballat and he ' chased him from him ' ^' — besides 

Ez.xl 44,xliv.i. 

" Ez.xliv.15,16. 

«« Ezr.ii. 36-39. 


«" 2.40-42. 


P' Neh.xiii.28. 


other Jews, who had married wives of Ashdod, Ammon, and 
Moab, and with whom he contended.^^ But the priestly spirit 
triumphed in the main after the Captitity, even down to 
the time when they 'sought how they might kill' the 
blasphemer, as they called him, whose voice had sternly de- 
nounced their practices, and pubHshed the Fatherly Love of 
God to Man. 

92 z;. 23-27. 




Recapitulation ; the Pesach kept in Josiah's days as never before, in 
strict accordance with the rules prescribed by the Deuteronomist in the Book 
of the Covenant ; these rules differ strikingly from those in Exodus, and seem 
to connect the Pesach with the sacrifice of firstlings ; the Deuteronomist 
enjoins that human firstlings shall be redeemed ; in earlier times they were 
undoubtedly sacrificed, down to Josiah's Reformation ; such sacrifices are ap- 
parently enjoined in more than one passage of the O. S.; in the primitive age 
human firstborns were probably ' made to pass-over ' to the Sun- God, on the 
eve of the Full Moon, at the Spring Festival ; the practice may have been 
dying out, though it was not extinct in Jeremiah's time ; points of difference 
between the rules for observance of the Pesach in D. and in L. L. ; the latter 
falsely derives the name from Jehovah's * passing-over ' by the Israelites when 
He slew the Egyptians ; it further claims for Jehovah the Levites and their 
cattle in place of the firstborns and firstlings of Israel, and then, inconsis- 
tently, claims afterwards the firstlings for the priests, as it has previously 
introduced the Levites as attached to the Sanctuary under the priests, and 
used the term ' holy shekel ' before there was any sanctuary or priesthood ; 
the half-shekel tan in Exodus related to the post-Captivity Temple-tan ; 
the Christian Passover. 



HE first germ of that practice of later times in 
Israel, which drew a sharp line of distinction 
between the priests and the Levites, lay, as we 
have seen,^ in the fact that in Josiah's Reforma- 
tion those priests who had ministered at idolatrous altars, 
were degraded from their office, and were no longer allowed 
to officiate at the altar of JEHOVAH — a germ which grew and 
sprouted in the mind of Ezekiel, who strongly distinguished 
between the faithful Levites, the * sons of Zadok,' and their 
idolatrous brethren, and which during the exile produced the 
ripe fruit of the priestly system, as set forth in the Levitical 
Legislation of the Pentateuch, and carried out in the Jewish 
Church after the return from the Captivity. But these de- 
prived priests were not excommunicated : they were allowed 
to ' eat the mazzoth among their brethren ' ^ — that is, to cele- 
brate with the other priests the Feast of Mazzoth or Un- 
leavened Bread, the most remarkable feature of which was 
the Passover or Pesach, as it is called in Hebrew, from which 
is derived the Greek Pascha, and our own expression, the 
Paschal Feast. I propose to consider in this Lecture the real 
meaning and significance of this rite as practised among the 
Hebrews in primitive times. 

p. 256-7. 

2 2K.xxii 


We are told that, as a part of his great Reformation, Josiah 

* commanded all the people saying, Keep the Passover unto 
Jehovah your Elohim, as it is written in the Book of this 
Covenant, Surely there was not holden such a Passover 
from the days of the Judges that judged Israel, nor of the 
kings of Israel, nor of the kings of Judah ; but in the eighteenth 
year of King Josiah wherein this Passover was holden to Je- 
hovah in Jerusalem.' ^Never before, then, was such a Passover 
as this observed in Israel from the-days of the Judges down- 
wards, that is, of course, from the very earliest times in the 
history of the Hebrew people — not in David's time, when, after 

* long war between the house of Saul and the house of David,' ^ 
the Ten Tribes gave in at last their full submission, and * they 
anointed David king over Israel ' ^ — not even when six years 
afterwards ' David and all the house of Israel ' had brought 
up the sacred ark to Mount Zion,*^ nor later still, when Solo- 
mon, ruling also over the Twelve tribes from Dan to Beer- 
sheba and on both sides of the Jordan, had built his splendid 
Temple at Jerusalem, and actually celebrated there from year 
to year the three great Hebrew Festivals.^ The ' goodness ' 
or * badness ' of the kings of Judah seems to have made no 
difference in this respect : Asa, Jehoshaphat, Joash, Amaziah, 
Jotham, Uzziah, Hezeklah, who all 'did right in the sight of 
Jehovah,' ^ must have all themselves neglected, and allowed 
their people to neglect, the due celebration of the Passover, 
according to this statement. And certainly it is remarkable 
that the Pesach is never once mentioned by any one of the 
Psalmists or Prophets, except once by Ezekiel,^ writing half 
a century after the time of Joslah's Passover, or throughout 
the whole history in the Books of Judges, Samuel, and Kings, 
except in the single passage before us. Nay, even Josiah 
himself, during the first seventeen years of his reign, though 

3 2/21-23. '' 2S.iii. I. 5 2S.iv.1_3. « 

' 1K.ix.25. ** 1K.XV. ii,xxii.43, 2K.xii,2,xiv.3,xv.3,34,xviii.3. " Ez.xlv.2i 


his ' heart was tender,' ^^ and for five of those years he had 
Jeremiah by his side,^^ was evidently just as faulty as the 
rest. Only ' in the eighteenth year of King Josiah ' was this 
famous Passover kept in Jerusalem as it had never been kept 

It is not said that the numbers then present were greater 
than on any former occasion ; and the writer can hardly 
have meant this, since the Ten Tribes had long been carried 
captive,'^ and only the petty kingdom of Judah remained, 
with some scanty remnants of the northern tribes. Supposing, 
however, that Josiah's zeal had roused a kindred enthusiasm 
among his people, so that even from this diminished popula- 
tion more people came to keep the Passover at Jerusalem 
than had ever come before, yet the stress is here laid upon the 
fact that it was now for the first time kept m the proper 
manner, as enjoined in the Book of the Law just found in the 
Temple ; for ' the king commanded all the people saying, 
Keep the Passover unto Jehovah your Elohim, as it is 
written in the Book of this Covenant.' That * Book of the 
Covenant,' as we have seen,^^ was the main address of Moses 
in the Book of Deuteronomy, the work, as we suppose,^'' of 
the prophet Jeremiah, and by him probably placed in the 
Temple, where in due time it was found by his father Hilkiah, 
the reading of which produced that powerful impression on 
the mind of the king, which led to his great Reformation. We 
must examine, then, this address of Moses, and see what it 
enjoins about the Passover, since in this way it was kept in 
the days of Josiah. 

Now, what the Deutcronomist says upon this subject is 
this : — ' Observe the month of Abib and celebrate the Pesach 
to Jehovah thy Elohim ; for in the month of Abib JEHOVAH 
thy Elohim brought thee forth out of Egypt by night. And 

'" 2K.xxii. 10. " Jer.i.2,xxv.3. '^ 2K.xvii.6. 

" p. 149. " p. 148. 


thou shalt slay the Pesach to Jehovaii thy Elohim, of the 
flock and of the herd, in the place which Jehovah shall 
choose to make His Name to dwell there. Thou shalt not 
eat with it anything leavened : seven days thou shalt eat it 
with Mazzoth, bread of affliction, — for in haste thou camest- 
forth out of the land of Egypt, — that so thou mayest re- 
member the day of thy coming-forth out of the land of Egypt 
all the days of thy life. And no leaven shall be seen with 
thee in all thy coast seven days ; neither shall aught of the 
flesh, which thou slayest the first day at even, remain all night 
until the morning. Thou mayest not slay the Pesach in any 
of thy gates which JEHOVAH thy Elohim giveth thee : but at 
the place which Jehovah thy Elohim shall choose, to make 
His Name to dwell there, thou shalt slay the Pesach at even, 
at the going- down of the sun, at the season of thy going-forth 
out of Egypt. And thou shalt boil and eat it in the place 
which Jehovah thy Elohim shall choose, and thou shalt 
turn in the morning and go unto thy tents. Six days shalt 
thou eat Mazzoth, and on the seventh day shall be a restraint 
to Jehovah thy Elohim, thou shalt do no work.' ^^ 

This is the Deuteronomist's account of the Pesach or Pass- 
over. There were to be seven days for the Feast of Mazzoth, 
on which no leavened bread was to be eaten,^^ the seventh 
day being kept as a solemn day of ' restraint,' on which no 
work was to be done.^^ But * on the first day at even ' ^^ — 
the Jewish day, you will remember, began with the evening — 
the whole assembled people was to slay the Pesach and 
boil '^ its flesh, and eat it during the night * in the place 
which Jehovah would choose,' and in the morning they 
were to disperse to their ' tents ' or dwellings. I shall point 
out presently in what respects these directions difi"er from 
those of the Later Legislation in Exodus. But one striking 

'^ D.xvi. 1-8. >6 D.xvi.3,4. '^ V.?,. 

" ^'-4,6. Js z'.7-not 'roast,' as in the E.V. 


difference is obvious at once, viz. that here, in Deuteronomy, 
the whole assembled people are to eat the Pesach together in 
the Temple Courts during the night, and in the morning to 
go each to his home ; whereas in Exodus they are to eat it 
each with his family separately in his own house,^^ and it is 
added, 'none of you shall go out at the door of his house 
until the morning.' ^^ 

We observe, however, that this older law in Deuteronomy 
enjoins them to ' slay the Pesach of the flock and of the herd,^^^ 
and that, immediately before this, the writer has ordered 
that * all the firstling males of the herd and of tJie flock ' shall 
be ' sanctified to Jehovah ' and ' eaten before Jehovah 
yearly in the place which He would choose.' ^^ It would seem, 
then, that he is here specifying the time at which these first- 
lings of sheep and oxen should be eaten at a sacrificial feast, 
viz. at the annual celebration of the Passover in the month of 
Abib or ' Green-Ears,' that is, in the early Spring. So too, 
when the Deuteronomist, as we have seen,^'' abridges the 
laws of the older Covenant supposed to have been made 
between Jehovah and the people under Sinai, he writes, 
' The Feast of Mazzoth shalt thou observe : seven days shalt 
thou eat Mazzoth as I commanded thee, at the season of the 
month Abib, for in the month of Abib thou camest-forth out of 
Egypt.' 25 And then follows immediately, as if in close con- 
nexion with this Feast, 'All that opcneth the womb is Mine, 
and every male firstling among thy cattle, ox or sheep. But 
the firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem with a lamb, and, if 
thou redeem it not, thou shalt break its neck. All the first- 
borns of thy sons shalt thou redeem.' ^^ 

But these, as I have said, are words of the Deuteronomist, 
writing in Josiah's time. Were the firstborns always 're- 
deemed ' in Israel ? We have already seen abundantly," by 

2" E.xii.7,13. 21 J,. 22. " V.2. 2' D. XV. 19,20. 

21 p. 136-8. " E.xxxiv. 18. 26 E.xxxiv. 19,20. -' p. 119. 


many quotations from the Bible itself, that the practice of 
offering human sacrifices — of first slaying and then burning 
their firstborn sons and daughters in honour of the Sun- 
God — prevailed extensively among the Hebrew people, not 
only in the northern kingdom,^* but in the kingdom of 
Judah,^^ in the neighbourhood of the ark and the Temple, in 
the presence of pious kings and zealous prophets, and in the 
very face of, or rather, doubtless, often with the willing help of, 
• the priests the sons of Levi.' ' Yea, they sacrificed their 
sons and their daughters unto devils, and shed innocent 
blood, even the blood of their sons and of their daughters, 
whom they sacrificed unto the idols of Canaan, and the land 
was polluted with blood.' ^^ Thus even Josiah, as part of the 
Reformation in the eighteenth year of his reign, ' defiled the 
Topheth, which is in the valley of the sons of Hinnom, 
that no man might make his son or his daughter pass-over 
in the fire to Molech,^^ — that is, ' pass-over ' as a sacrificial 
offering to ' the King,' the Sun-God ; so that even down to 
this time the practice of offering human-sacrifices must have 
been continued in Jerusalem, under the good king Josiah, and 
in the presence of the prophet Jeremiah and the high-priest 

Moreover, we saw in a former Lecture ^^ that in the oldest 
code of laws, in the Book of Exodus, dating probably from 
the age of Samuel, there is an ordinance which seems actually 
to prescribe such sacrifices : — ' Thy fulness and thy tears ' — 
that is, the firstfrults of thy threshing-floor and wine-press 
— * thou shalt not delay : the firstborn of thy children shalt 
thou give unto Me : so shalt thou do with thine ox, with thy 
sheep : seven days shall it be with its dam ; on the eighth 
day thou shalt give it to Me.' ^^ These firstlings of the herd 
and of the flock were, of course, to be sacrificed ; and there is 

2s 2K.xvii.17. 2^ 2K.xvi.3,xxi.6. 30 Ps.cvi. 37,38. 

=" 2K.Xxiii.IO. 32 p J17 33 E.XXii.29,30. 


no intimation whatever that the firstborns of man were to be 
'given to Jehovah' in any other way than that in which the 
other firstlings were to be * given' to Him, that is, by fire. 

So, again, in the Original Story, when the Israelites had 
been let go out of their bondage under the terrible effect of 
the last plague, which smote the firstborns of Egypt, both 
man and beast, we read — 'And Jehovah spake unto Moses 
saying, Sanctify to Me all the firstborn that openeth the 
womb among the children of Israel, of men and cattle — it is 
Mine.' ^^ And then, most probably, a few more words enjoined 
the celebration of the Feast of Mazzoth in memory of the 
unleavened bread which they ate in their hurried flight, when 
' they took their dough before it was leavened.' ^^ But the 
Deuteronomist has removed this, and inserted instead of it 
his own more copious account of the Feast of Mazzoth,^^ at the 
end of which he repeats the command about ' making to 
pass-over to Jehovah ' all firstborns and firstlings.^^ But here 
he adds ' all the firstborns of men among thy children shalt 
thou redeem,' ^^ thus softening and in fact explaining away 
the abrupt words of the Original Story just quoted, which, 
as they read, would also seem to imply that the firstlings of 
man and beast were to be dealt with in like manner, and 
' sanctified to Jehovah ' by being sacrificed. 

It is probable that in the primitive times in Israel, that is, 
before and during the age of Samuel, or even after it — in 
days when Jephthah could sacrifice his only daughter as ' a 
burnt-offering to Jehovah,' ^^ and Samuel could hew in 
pieces ' before Jehovah ' the captive Agag, king of Amalek,''^^ 
and David could make his Ammonite captives * pass-over ' in 
the fire to Molech,"^^ and could give up the seven sons and 
grandsons of Saul to be impaled or crucified ' before Jeho- 

"< E.xiii. r,2. " £^11.34,39. s" t/.s-io. 

^^ v.\i, instead of E.V. 'set apart,' see viarg. ^^ «/. 13. 

33 Ju.xi. 30-40. " I S. XV. 33. 

*' 2S.xi.31, instead of E.V. * ass through the brick-kiln.' 


VAH,' '^^ or even in the still later age, when such facts as these 
could be recorded without one word of censure, — the Spring 
Festival was kept in Israel, after the example of the tribes of 
Canaan, with human as well as animal sacrifices, the first- 
borns both of man and beast being made to * pass-over to 
Jehovah ' on the fourteenth day of the month at even,'*^ that 
is, on the eve of the Full Moon. This ceremony was called 
the Pesach or * Passing-over,' and the Feast lasted for seven 
days, with the custom, handed down perhaps from great 
antiquity, when the use of leaven was unknown, of eating 
bread unleavened. It is true, the Original Story, though it 
enjoins the ' giving or sanctifying ' to JEHOVAH all firstlings 
both of man and beast, does not mention the Pesach by name. 
It says, however, in its ancient code, * Thou shalt not slay with 
aught leavened the blood of My Sacrifice, neither shall the 
fat of My Feast remain all night until the morning,' ^^ — as if 
there was some special ' Sacrifice ' and special ' Feast ' pecu- 
liarly dear to JEHOVAH. And, accordingly, the Deuterono- 
mist, when copying these words, instead of ' the Fat of My 
Feast,' writes plainly * the Sacrifice of the Feast of the 
Pesach,' ^^ showing that this gloomy solemnity was the 
annual festival deemed of most importance, though doubtless 
the joyous Autumn Feast was most in favour with the 
people ; and so the words ' blood of My Sacrifice,' which the 
Deuteronomist here merely repeats, were probably meant to 
have a similar reference to the great Spring Sacrifice of 
firstborns and firstlings, which was designed especially to 
propitiate the Sun-God and bring down a blessing on the 
crops of the year. 

At some time or other, no doubt, the practice was intro- 
duced of * redeeming ' the firstborns of men, perhaps about 
the age of David, when the Story of Abraham's sacrifice was 

« 2S.xxi.8,9. " E.xii.6. <i E.xxiii.iS. « E.xxxiv.25. 


probably written,'*^ in which Isaac is ' redeemed ' with a ram.'^^ 
Probably the older custom died out gradually, and in Jere- 
miah's time was only observed at last by superstitious de- 
votees. But it still, we find, existed in Israel down to the 
eighteenth year of king Josiah, when for the first time the 
Pesach was kept, * as it was written in the Book of the Cove- 
nant,' that is, only with sacrifices of sheep and oxen, probably 
the firstlings of the flock and of the herd, which were slain at 
evening, and feasted on during the night in the Temple 
Courts by the offerers and their families, not forsaking the 
needy Levite,"*^ and in the morning they went to their 

Very different are the directions for the observance of this 
Passover laid down in the Later Levitical Law. Here, too, 
it is represented as a memorial of the deliverance of Israel 
out of Egypt.'^^ But instead of the firstlings 'of the flock 
and of the herd,' the priestly legislator, having elsewhere 
assigned these exclusively to the use of the priests,^''^ orders a 
lamb or kid, ' a male of the first year,' to be slain by each 
householder on this occasion, the flesh to be expressly roasted^ 
not boiled, and to be eaten with bitter herbs, not by the 
whole body of worshippers assembled together in the Temple 
Court, but by each offerer with his family and friends in his 
own house, the lintel and side-posts of Avhich were to be 
smeared with the blood, — to be eaten by him hurriedly, with 
'his loins girded, his shoes on his feet, and his staff in his 
hand.' ^^ Again, the Deuteronomist orders that the seventh 
day of the Feast of Mazzoth shall be kept as a day of re- 
straint, on which no work should be done ; ^'^ so that, on re- 
turning to their homes from the Temple in the morning of 
the first day of the Feast, they would be at liberty to do 
what they liked for the rest of the day, and until the seventh 

<« p.120-1. <' G.xxii.13. •'8 D.xii, 17,18. "» E.xii.24-27. 

»« N.xviii. 15-18. ^' E.xii,5-ii. " D.xvi.8. 


day began at evening. But the Lcvitical Law orders the first 
day to be kept, as well as the seventh, as a day of ' holy 
Convocation ' — ' no manner of work shall be done in them.' ^^ 
Both writers explained the custom that only unleavened 
bread was eaten on this occasion by reference to the hasty 
march out of Egypt.^'* But the Deuteronomist makes no 
allusion whatever to the sparing of the firstborns of Israel as 
the ground of this rite : whereas the Levitical Law derives 
the name Pesach from the wQYhpasach, ' pass-over,' not because 
the firstborns and firstlings were made to * pass-over to JEHO- 
VAH,' but in memory of the fact that JEHOVAH had 'passed- 
over by the houses of the Israelites, ^^ when he slew the 
Egyptian firstborns and firstlings. Moreover, it represents 
the Levites and their cattle as taken to be Jehovah's, about 
a year afterwards, in place of all the firstborns and firstlings 
in Israel : — ' thou shalt take the Levites for Me instead of 
all the firstborns among the children of Israel, and the cattle 
of the Levites instead of all the firstlings among the cattle of 
the children of Israel.' ^^ And then, in another place,^^ with 
strange inconsistency, he claims in Jehovah's Name these 
very same firstborns and firstlings from all Israel for the use 
of the priests, the former to be redeemed with money and the 
latter to be eaten. This last fact is enough by itself to show 
that we have here no history properly so called : though indi- 
rectly we read here the history of later times, and see how it 
was sought after the Captivity to account for the Levites 
being separated as servants of the Sanctuary, in subordina- 
tion to the 'priests the sons of Aaron,' and at the same 
time to secure for these latter a plentiful supply of fees and of 

Long before this, however, in the priestly Legislation, the 
Levites have been introduced inadvertenly as connected 

" E.xii.i6. " D.xvi.3, E.xii. ii. " E.xii.27. 

" N.iii.45. " N.xviii. 15-18. 


with the Sanctuary and subordinated to the priests,-'^ though, 
as the story now stands, not a word had yet been said about 
their being set apart for sacred duties. So the priestly Legis- 
lator speaks repeatedly of the 'shekel of the Sanctuary,' or holy 
shekel, when no Sanctuary, according to the story, was in ex- 
istence ^^ — a designation which is used in other passages of 
these later laws,^° and with which the writer in his own days 
was, no doubt, familiar, though it occurs nowhere else in the 
Bible. Thus in one place of Exodus JEHOVAH lays a tax 
upon the people of half a shekel for each male adult, ' ac- 
cording to the holy shekel ; ' ^^ and the amount of silver thus 
received is carefully accounted for as expended in making 
different parts of the Tabernacle.'^^ But here we have light 
thrown at once upon the age in which this passage was 
written. For we find it stated that in the time of Ezra and 
Nehemiah, long after the Captivity, the people laid upon 
themselves a yearly Temple-tax of a third of a shekel for de- 
fraying the expenses of public worship,^'^ a tribute which 
must have been raised at some later day to half a shekel, as 
it existed, we know, in our Saviour's time.^^ No reference, 
however, is here made to any legislative direction already ex- 
isting for such a tribute being levied ; but the people volun- 
tarily bind themselves to contribute annually the sum in 
question — oVi^-tJdrd of a shekel. From this it is plain that 
the Law, which Ezra is represented as at this very time en- 
forcing with all his might,'''' contained no such command as 
yet, fixing half d, shekel for the Temple-tax. In other words, 
it must have been inserted after the time of Ezra and Nehe- 
miah, as one of the very latest portions of the Levitical Law, 
which appears to have been composed by priestly writers at 

*^ E.xxxviii.2l. " 13, 24,xxxviii. 24-26. 

"" L.v.i5,xxvii.3,25, N.iii.47,50,vii. I3,i9,&c. (fourteen times), xviii.16. 
®' 11-16, ^- E.xxxviii. 25-28. ^^ Neh.x.32. 

" Matt.xvii.24, Gr. fl'/fl'rrtfr/^wi?;/ = half a shekel. " Neh.viii. 


different periods, partly in Babylonia, partly at Jerusalem, 
between the years 600 and 450 B.C. 

I have now explained what appears to have been the true 
origin of the rite of the Pesach, which the Israelites adopted 
from the Canaanite tribes, but which comes to us in the 
Bible disguised under the modifications introduced in later 
times. The sacrifice in question was supposed to be pleasing 
to the Deity, one that would propitiate His Favour and 
secure His Blessing. And as such it was regarded by St. 
Paul as the type of him who was the true paschal lamb, 
whose offering of himself in life and in death is the standing 
exemplar for all ages of that living sacrifice which we our- 
selves are daily to be offering, * holy, acceptable unto God, 
which is our reasonable service.' ^^ ' CJjrist our Passover is 
sacrificed for us : therefore let us keep tjie Feast, not with the 
old leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened 
bread of sincerity and truth.' ^"^ This is the lesson for us to 
learn, that the lives of all true-hearted men of all times, of 
all countries, classes, religions, acting faithfully according to 
the light which God has given them, help to ' fill up,' as the 
same apostle says, ^ that which is behind of the afflictions of 
Christ,' ^® and are parts of that great Sacrifice, offered by God's 
dear children on behalf of the whole human race, with which 
the Father is well-pleased. 

«« Rom.xii.i. " I Cor. v. 7,8. «8 Col.i.24. 



Difficulties felt by different classes of readers in respect of the contents of 
the Pentateuch ; some of these may be got rid of by rationalising processes, 
as in the New Commentary ; there remains the impossibility of reconciling 
the later history of Israel with the Levitical Legislation, supposed to be 
Mosaic and Divine ; some real movement out of Egypt must lie at the basis 
of the story of the Exodus ; Manetho's accounts of the Shepherd-Kings and the 
Leprous People ; the latter probably to be identified with the Israelites, the 
former with kindred tribes of Eastern origin, who had previously settled on 
the confines of Egypt and Canaan ; probable oppression of the Israelites 
under Rameses II., and date of the Exodus; the O.S. does not imply that 
forty years were spent in the wilderness ; this term, expressing merely an 
indefinite long time, first applied to the wanderings in popular talk, and used 
in this sense by Amos, was introduced by the Deuteronomist into the story 
of the Exodus, though in the original address of Moses only as a time of 
probation, not of judgment, as in his later insertions ; our language full of 
allusions to the Exodus ; mistakes often made in drawing such comparisons. 


E have now examined the Pentateuch sufficiently 
to be able to form some clear idea of the manner 
in which it has been composed, by writers of 
different ages, whose contributions betray the spirit 
of the times in which they lived, and reveal to us the secret 
history and movements mainly of those times, and not of the 
Mosaic age, as is commonly supposed. We are thus relieved 
at once from the burden of maintaining that all the miraculous 
stones of these Books are historically true — a burden which 
many in the present age of general enlightenment have found 
too heavy to be borne. But, if the faith of some is staggered by 
these things, there are others who have schooled themselves 
into the habit of looking upon such stories as no essential part 
of the Mosaic narrative, and who are ready to ascribe them to 
the processes which would be actively at work in a primitive 
age, adorning simple facts with marvellous adjuncts. It is 
true, it is not so easy to dispose of all the wonderful incidents 
in the Pentateuch in this way. The ten plagues may be ex- 
plained as mere exaggerations of natural occurrences ; for 
travellers tell us how at certain seasons the waters of the Nile 
are red as blood, how dense the gloom is sometimes at mid- 
day, how destructive are the hailstorms, how painful the boils, 

T 2 


how deadly the murrains and pestilences. * The miracle at 
the Red Sea/ it may be said, ' may have been only the 
crossing an arm of that Sea, when the waters are very low, 
as they sometimes are now under the influence of certain 
winds, the cessation of which, with the springing up of a contrary 
wind, makes the waves return violently where shortly before 
had been dry land.' Of course, we are not to suppose that 
Jehovah Himself ranked the ' hare ' among ruminant animals 
because of the quivering movement of its lips, though the 
Bible distinctly says so,^ or that the Creator classed the 
* mouse * and the * mole ' in the same category of ' creeping 
things ' with the ' snail ' and the ' lizard,* as again in the Bible 
he is represented to have done.^ It was Moses who really 
made these statements and desired to secure Divine authority 
for his own laws by ascribing them to JEHOVAH. This, 
in fact, is exactly what the New Commentary does, which 
says, ^ It was not tJie object of the legislator to give a scientific 
classification of animals ; ' ^ and again, * The distinction of 
animals laid dozvn by Moses agrees in the main with that 
recognized by other nations than the Hebrews ;'^ and again, 
'The 07'dinance of Moses was for the whole nation.'^ In this 
way many will be able to rationalize away to their own 
satisfaction most of the stupendous narratives of miraculous 
interference in the Pentateuch ; though there will be some 
of these still, as the utterance of the Ten Commandments 
in two different forms in Exodus and Deuteronomy, which 
would still present a difficulty.^ 

But there are those again who seem able to pass over, or 
at least to pass by, the stumbling-blocks caused even by those 
miracles which appear to be interwoven into the very texture 
of the Mosaic story. For such persons the difficulty is felt to 
be much greater to reconcile the later portion of the Jewish 

» L.xi.i.-6. 2 ^.29,30, ^ ^.(7, 1. p. 546. 

♦ i?. CI. p. 557. ^ Jb. ep.101-3. 


History, as it lies before us in the Bible, with the earliest 
portion of it, assuming this to have been substantially in ac- 
cordance with the story told in the middle three Books of the 
Pentateuch. If the account given in those books of the 
priestly and sacrificial system be true in the main — that is, if 
these institutions and practices did really originate in that 
early age, under Mosaic, at all events, if not under direct 
Divine, authority, — how is it possible, they feel, to explain 
the extraordinary contradictions to this supposed fact, which 
meet us everywhere in the records of the history, from the 
Book of Judges to the very end of the Second Book of Kings, 
where we find not a trace of these priestly laws being duly 
observed under the best of kings, or of any distinction being 
made between the priests and the Levites ? Here and there, 
by the ingenuity of traditionary writers, some faint reference 
may be imagined to the observance of one or other of those 
laws. But the whole labour of such writers is painfully spent, 
not in accumulating clear and overwhelming proofs of these 
laws having been recognized as authoritative and Divine, 
at least by the most devout princes and priests and prophets, 
and in Israel's best days, but in trying to extract some faint 
evidence of this from words which do not really yield it, and 
explaining away the stubborn facts of a contrary character 
which appear in every page of the history. 

Let us now see if it is possible to reconstruct to some 
extent the actual history of the Hebrew people, and to sketch 
some more rational account of their early doings than the 
traditionary view affords. 

Upon consideration of the whole question, it can scarcely 
be doubted that some real movement out of Egypt in former 
days must underlie the story of the Exodus. It is incon- 
ceivable that such a narrative should have been written by 
any Hebrew without some real tradition giving the hint for 
it. What motive, for instance, could he have had for taking 


his own people into Egypt, representing them as having lived 
there as miserable slaves, and bringing them out of Egypt 
into Canaan, unless he had derived it from reminiscences of 
some former residence of the Hebrews in Egypt, under 
painful and humiliating circumstances, and of some great 
deliverance ? 

Thus, then, it is by no means necessary to suppose that 
the narrative in question is from beginning to end a pure 
fiction. It is probable that there may have been floating 
about in the memories of the Hebrew tribes many legendary 
stories of former striking events in their history — how they 
once were oppressed for many years in Egypt — how they fled 
in a large body out of that ' house of servants ' under some 
eminent leader such as Moses — how they had crossed the 
shallow extremity of the Red Sea when the waters were low, 
and had been led through that * great and terrible wilderness,' 
and had encamped under the dreadful Mount, with its 
blackened peaks and precipices, as if they had been burnt 
with fire — how they had lost themselves in the dreary waste, 
and struggled on through great suflerings, and many died, 
but the rest found their way at last into the land of Canaan, 
and made good their footing among the tribes settled there, 
and by whom they were called ' Hebrews,' or ' people who 
had crossed,' that is, had crossed the Euphrates, just as by 
the natives of Natal the refugees from Zululand are spoken 
of as abawelayo, ' people who have crossed ' the Tugela. It 
is natural that the recollections of such a march should have 
left indelible traces upon the minds of the people, and the 
real facts may thus have been exaggerated and distorted in 
the popular talk, as is the case with legends generally, while 
circulated from one to another and passed on by word of 
mouth, from sire to son, in the intervening age. In this way 
natural occurrences may have been magnified into prodigies, 
some weary months or years into forty years of wandering. 



and many thousands multiplied into two or three millions of 
people. And, if so, it is difficult to avoid the conviction that 
the story quoted by Josephus from the Egyptian writer 
Manetho, who lived about B.C. 250, and declares that he 
translated it out of the sacred books of Egypt, must have 
some connexion with this movement. 

This, then, somewhat abridged, is what Manetho records : — 
' There was a king of ours named Timseus, under whom it 
came to pass that for some reason or other the Deity was 
averse to us. And strangely there came ignoble men out of 
the eastern regions who were bold enough to invade our land, 
and easily subdued it by force, without our risking a battle 
with them. So they seized our rulers and burnt down our 
cities, and demolished the temples of the gods, and treated 
barbarously all the inhabitants, slaying some and enslaving 
their wives and children. At length they made one of them- 
selves king, by name Salatis, who lived at Memphis, and 
made Upper and Lower Egypt pay tribute, and established 
garrisons, securing chiefly the eastern parts, for fear of the 
Assyrians. He rebuilt also the city of Avaris, and made it 
very strong with walls and a garrison of 240,000 armed men. 
After him reigned five other kings, the six ruling 254 years, 
and all along making war with the Egyptians. These were 
called the Hyksos or Shepherd-Kings, and some say that 
these people were Arabians. They held Egypt 5 1 1 years, 
when the Egyptian kings waged a long and terrible war with 
them, at the end of which they were driven into Avaris, from 
which they were allowed, on condition of leaving Egypt, to go 
uninjured wherever they liked. Accordingly, they Avent with 
all their families, in number 240,000, and marched through 
the wilderness for Syria ; but, fearing the Assyrians, they 
built a city in that country, which is now called Judsea, and 
named it Jerusalem.'^ 

' adv. ^/.1. 14, 15. 


Thus far, says Josephus, Manetho has followed the sacred 
records, and he has no doubt that these * Shepherd-Kings ' 
were the people of Israel But here he has manifestly been 
misled by his national vanity to claim these great achieve- 
ments to be placed to the credit of his own forefathers. For, 
if Israel had really lorded it over Egypt for a considerable 
period in this manner, we should surely have found some 
trace of this fact in the Scripure story, and the sojourning in 
Goshen would not have been represented as a time at best of 
insignificance, and at last of abject misery. But Josephus 
then further tells us that, besides this account taken from 
the sacred records, Manetho has also introduced, out of his 
own head or from mere rumour, * incredible narratives,' — such 
as follows : — 

* Long after the expulsion of the Shepherd-Kings, king 
Amenophis wished to see the gods, and was told that he 
might see them if he would clear the whole land of the lepers 
and other unclean people. Accordingly, he collected these 
people out of all Egypt, to the number of 80,000, and sent 
them to work in the quarries on the East of the Nile. After a 
while they petitioned for relief from that hard labour, and 
the king assigned to them the city of Avaris, which had once 
belonged to the Shepherds, but was now uninhabited. Here 
they chose one Osarsiph, priest of On or Heliopolis, the city 
of the Sun, for their leader, and swore to obey him in all things. 
He first made a law that they were not to worship the gods 
of Egypt, that they were to kill the animals held sacred in 
Egypt, and not associate with the Egyptians. Then he re- 
built their walls, and sent a message to the " Shepherds " in 
Jerusalem to come and help them. So they came to Avaris in 
great numbers, and for thirteen years the " lepers " lorded it in 
Lower Egypt. Meanwhile these " lepers," with their allies the 
" Shepherds," had committed dreadful outrages, burning towns 
and cities, breaking the images of the gods, and eating the 


flesh of the sacred animals, which they compelled the priests 
to kill ; and all this was done by direction of Osarsiph, the 
priest of Osiris the Sun-God, an Egyptian by birth, who, on 
going over to this people, changed his name to Moses. At last 
Amenophis the king came against them from the south with 
a great army, and his son Rameses with another, and together 
they fought with the " lepers " and " Shepherds," and after a 
great slaughter chased them as far as the frontiers of 
Syria.' ® 

Josephus, who adopts the first legend completely, is very 
angry at the notion of this Leprous People being supposed 
to be the Hebrews, and has, of course, no difficulty in showing 
that, as it now stands, this narrative cannot be historically 
true. Yet it is probable that we have here the Egyptian 
version of the exodus of Israel. The Egyptians regarded all 
foreigners as unclean, and would be likely enough to call these 
nomadic tribes, who like the Shepherd-Kings before them 
had made their way from the far East beyond the Euphrates, 
to settle in the fertile land of Egypt, a ' leprous ' people. 
According to this account also, the harsh measures of the 
Egyptians, and in particular the slavish service imposed by 
them, gave occasion to the rebellion of those oppressed, and 
ultimately led to their being driven out of Egypt and pursued 
as far as the Syrian frontier. All this, as well as the violence 
done to the gods of Egypt, agrees sufficiently with the 
Hebrew account of the Exodus to make it very probable 
that we have here only another version of that event from a 
different point of view. And Amenophis, the Egyptian king, 
is identified by Egyptologists with Menoptha, son of Rameses 
n., so that this Rameses may have been the oppressor who 
reduced the Israelites to slavery. This fully agrees with the 
character of that monarch, who during the last fifty-six years 

« adv. Ap. 1,26,27. 


of his long reign was occupied exclusively with home-enter- 
prises, e.g. with building temples and palaces, whose ruins are 
still the astonishment of travellers. It is confirmed also by 
the circumstance that one of the cities said to have been 
built by the Israelites was called Rameses,^ and its remains 
now discovered show that it was Rameses II. under whom it 
was built. According to this view, the Exodus of the Israelites 
out of Egypt took place about B.C. 1320, nearly two centuries 
after the date usually assigned to it. 

Such, then, was very probably the basis upon which the 
Scripture story of the Exodus has been founded. No doubt, 
as I have said, the Israelites on their march to Canaan en- 
dured great hardships and encountered formidable difficulties, 
the memory of which, handed down from age to age during 
two or three centuries, may have given rise to some of the 
wonderful stories in the narrative, while others are merely the 
result of the natural growth of legendary matter, or are due 
to the inventive imagination of the writer or writers. It 
must be observed, however, that in the Original Story there 
is no sign of any very long period, such as forty years, having 
been consumed in the wanderings. On the contrary, in that 
Story the people are carried on at once from Sinai till they 
reach the southern boundary of Canaan,^^ when Moses sends 
out spies to search the land,^* upon whose return the people 
murmur because of the formidable enemies they will have to 
encounter,^^ and, as a punishment for this, instead of being 
allowed to enter Canaan at once from the south, they are 
ordered to turn and go back again into the wilderness 
towards the Red Sea ; ^^ and, accordingly, being refused a 
passage across the Edomite territory, ^^ they march southward 
until they reach its southern extremity, when they turn again 
towards the north coast, along its eastern border, and reach 

^ E.i. II. »" E.xxxiii. 1,2, N.x.29-33,xi. 34,35, xii. i6. 

" N.xiii.1-3. »2 N.xiv. I. '* £'.25. '^ N. XX, 14^21. 


the plains of Moab/^ and so at last they enter Canaan from 
the east across the Jordan.^^ For all this a comparatively- 
short time would have sufficed, except that they are spoken 
of as ^ dwelling ' at Kadesh ^^ or Petra, perhaps for a few 
months only, as afterwards they are said to have * dwelt ' at 
Shittim,^^ where, according to the story as it now stands, they 
can only have remained three or four months at the most.^^ 
But they came to Kadesh, we are told, 'in the first month ' ^^ 
— it is not said in what year of the wanderings ; but it is 
natural to suppose that the second year must be meant, since 
the movements hitherto in the Original Story have been to- 
wards the end of the first year.^^ If, however, this datum 
of ' forty years ' had belonged to the Original Story, we should 
have to suppose either here or somewhere else in this chapter 
before the account of the death of Aaron,^^ which occurred in 
the fortieth year,^^ a sudden leap of thirty-eight years in the 
narrative — a circumstance which has greatly perplexed the 
most eminent commentators. Thus the New Commentary 
tells us that we must understand the words to mean ' in the 
first month of the fortieth year of the Exodus.' ^^ 

The fact is, as I have said, that the Original Story said 
nothing about these * forty years,' though it implied a long 
and tedious wandering in the wilderness. This vexatious delay 

" N.xxi.4, 10-20. '« J.iii. 14-17. 

" N.xx. 1,16, comp. D.i.46, Ju.xi. 17, near Mount Hor, N,xxxiii.36,37, most 
probably the famous rock-city of Pctra, to be carefully distinguished from Kadesh, 
= Kadesh-Bamea, in the wilderness of Paran, to which the spies returned, 
N.xiii.26, D.i. I9,xxxii.8, J.xiv.6. 

J" N.xxv.i. ^^ B.C. 1.^.6^0. 20 N.xx. I. 

2' The dates in E.xvi. ib,xix. i, N.i. i,ix. i,xxxiii.38, all belong to the L.L. 
But, according to the O.S., the Exodus took place in the Spring, E.xxiii. 15, 
after which are mentioned ' forty days ' twice, E.xxiv. i8,xxxiv.28, 'three days,' 
N.x.33, 'a month' (?), N.xi.20, 'seven days,' N.xii. 15, that is, about four months 
altogether ; so that, allowing for the march to Sinai, the searching of the south of 
Canaan, N.xiii. 22-24, the murmuring, N.xiv, and the rebellion, N.xvi, the first 
year may be supposed to have come to an end. 

" N.xx. 23-29. " N.xxxiii.38. 2^ .5. (7. 1, p. 721. 


became at length spoken of in the common talk as extending 
over ' forty years/ this being a very common formula among 
the Hebrews for expressing an indefinitely long period ; ^^ as 
where Ezekiel says of the desolation of Egypt * No foot of, 
man shall pass through it, nor foot of beast shall pass through 
it, neither shall it be inhabited forty years ; and I will make 
the land of Egypt desolate in the midst of the lands that are 
desolate, and her cities, among the cities that are laid waste, 
shall be desolate /^r{y years' '^^ Hence the prophet Amos, 
about two centuries and a half after the story of the Exodus 
was written, already adopts the idea of ' forty years ' of 
wandering, and writes ' I brought you up from the land of 
Egypt, and led you forty years through the wilderness, to 
possess the land of the Amorite ; ' ^^ and again, ' Was it sacri- 
fices and offerings that ye brought near to me in the wilder- 
ness forty years, O House of Israel ? ' ^^ A century and a 
half later still the Deuteronomist first introduces it into the 
story as told in the Pentateuch,^^ and from him the still later 
Levitical Legislator has copied it.^'' Amos, however, speaks 
merely of Jehovah's leading Israel through the wilderness, 
and gives no hint that during those forty years * all the men 
of war ' perished out of the host, as the Deuteronomist says,^^ 
and after him the Levitical Legislator.^^ Nor does the 
Deuteronomist give any hint of this in his original work, the 
address of Moses in D.v, &c., in which the forty years are 
spoken of, not as a time of punishment, but as a time of pro- 
bation, during which they enjoyed Jehovah's watchful care 
and guidance, while He was 'proving' them and training 
them as children by chastisement. * And thou shalt remem- 
ber all the way which Jehovah thy Elohim led thee these 

" Ju.iii.ii,viii.28,xiii. I, iS.iv. i8,xvii. i6, iK.xix.8, Jon.iii.4,&c. 

2" Ez.xxix.ii,i2. 27 Am.ii. lo. ^s Am.v.25. 

" D.i.3,ii.7,viii.2,xxix.5, J.v.6. 

3" N.xiv.33,34,xxxiii.38— also, comp. D.xxxi.2,xxxiv.7, N.xxxiii.39. 

3» D.ii.14,15. 32 N.xiv.29-35,xxvi.64,6s. 


forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, to prove thee, 
to know what was in thy heart, whether thou wouldst keep 
His commandments or no.' ^^ ' And I have led you forty 
years in the wilderness ; your clothes are not waxen old upon 
you, and thy shoe is not waxen old upon thy foot' ^^ In 
short, the Deuteronomist is here merely following the lead of 
the Original Story, which sends back the Israelites * by the 
way of the Red Sea ' to wander yet awhile in the wilderness, 
until * those who had despised Jehovah ' — not the whole body 
of warriors — should perish.^^ It is only in his later insertions 
that he speaks of this time as a time of judgment for all that 
doomed generation ;^^ though even here he says, 'Jehovah 
thy Elohim hath blessed thee in all the works of thy hands ; 
He knoweth thy walking though this great wilderness ; these 
forty years Jehovah thy Elohim hath been with ther ; thou 
hast lacked nothing.' ^'^ 

So thoroughly, however, have we all from our childhood 
been imbued with this story, so thoroughly has it penetrated 
our everyday language, that pious persons will often speak 
or sing of their weary wanderings in this wilderness-life, of 
the manna which has fed them by the way, of the water by 
which they have been refreshed from time to time, of the 
swelling Jordan-flood, through which they expect to pass to 
their rest in the Promised Land — though, in point of fact, the 
main struggles of the Israelites with their foes took place in 
Canaan itself, after — not before — they had crossed the 
Jordan.^® For many, doubtless, whose lives have been heavily 
burdened with care and sorrow, there will seem to be great 
meaning in such resemblances, and we can all understand the 
force of those words, * Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses 
gave you not that bread from heaven ' — that is, it was my 
Father who gave it then, who gave food for the body and 

^' D.viii.2. ^^ D.xxix.5, 3* N.xiv.22,23. 

*« D.i. 34,35, ii, 14,15, J. V. 4-6. »' D.ii.7. 38 J vj^yjii ,_2gjx. i,2,x-xii. 


soul to the men of old ; ' it is my Father also who giveth you 
now the true bread from heaven — my Father and your 
Father, my God and your God. For the bread of God is 
that which cometh down from heaven and giveth life unto the 
world ' 39_the living bread, the ' flesh and blood ' of Christ's 
Divine Doctrine, which we eat and drink, whenever we ap- 
proach in a right spirit the Holy Table. For, as CLEMENT 
of Alexandria says, * In saying, Eat ye my flesh and drink ye 
my blood, he was manifestly speaking by an allegory of the 
drink of faith and of the promise ' ^° — as Tertullian says, 
' While describing the word as life-giving, because the word 
was spirit and life, he called the same also his flesh, because 
the word also was made flesh, something forsooth to be 
hungered after for life's sake, to be devoured by hearing, 
ruminated upon by the understanding, digested by faith ' '^^ — 
as Origen explains it, ' We are said to drink the blood of 
Christ, when we receive his discourses ; his flesh is meat indeed 
and his blood is drink indeed, inasmuch as he supplies and re- 
freshes the whole race of men with the flesh and with the 
blood of his word, as with pure meat and drink ; ... in the 
second place, after his flesh, Peter and Paul and all the 
apostles are clean meat ; in the third place, their disciples ; 
and thus everyone, in proportion to his excellencies or the 
purity of his sentiments, is made clean meat to his neighbour '^^ 
— as EUSEBIUS tells us, ' His words and his discourses are 
the flesh and the blood, of which he who partakes, ever 
nourished, as it were, with heavenly bread, will partake of 
heavenly life ' *3_or Jerome, ' The body of Jesus I take to be 
the Gospel, the Holy Scriptures ; I take it to be his doctrine. 
If, then, we hear the word, and both the word of God and the 
flesh and blood of Christ is poured into our ears, while we 

3» John vi. 32. 40 Pced.l.y\. "' de Res. Cam. xxxvii. 

*2 Horn. vn. in. Ln>. « j, ^^^i -j^j^^^i Ill.xii. 


are thinking of something else, into how great danger do we 
run ! ' 4^ 

But perhaps men and women have thought sometimes 
too much of Hfe as a wilderness, in which they were to 
travel painfully on, or, rather, to wander purposely about, 
so long as it pleased God to keep them there, instead of 
regarding it as a blessed working-time, a time in which 
God is best to be glorified by working for the good of man, 
and remembering our Saviour's own words, which he has 
left for the guidance and encouragement of his followers, 
' My Father worketh hitherto, and therefore I work ' '•^ — 
' My meat is to do the will of Him that sent me and to finish 
His work.'^® 

** /;/ Fs.cxlvii. " John v. 17. " John iv.34. 



Edom, Moab, and Ammon, perhaps belonged to the shepherd kings of 
Manetho's story ; the conquest of Canaan by the Israelites slow and gradual, 
like the Anglo-Saxon conquest of England; the time of the Judges to Saul 
the first king ; the name Yahveh first heard by them at the time of the 
Exodus as the name of the Sun- God ; they adopted the practices of the 
Canaanite tribes, and worshipped Yahveh with heathen rites, as the Baal or 
Lord of the land ; hence Israelitish, as well as Phoenician, names were com- 
pounded indifferently with Baal or Yahveh ; distinction, though no sub- 
stantial difference, between the Tyrian and the Syrian Baal ; Yahveh, in 
other words, lacchus or Bacchus, may have been worshipped from the first 
by the Israelites alter their settlement in Canaan, especially by the northern 
tribes ; in Saul's time Yahveh was first recognised as the National Deity of 
Israel under the influence of Samuel ; the Cross worn as symbol of the 
Sun-God in very ancient times. 


E have seen that the IsraeHtes, according to their 
own tradition, entered Canaan from the eastern 
border, having passed by the kindred tribes of 
Edom, Moab, and Ammon, without a conflict, 
though as regards Edom and Moab perhaps not altogether in 
a friendly manner, since the Original Story represents these 
two peoples as refusing to allow the Israelites to pass through 
their territory.^ These tribes were all of //r(^;rw origin, that 
is, like Israel, they had crossed the Euphrates, having migrated 
from the further East in search of richer or less crowded 
pastures. Accordingly, they are all reckoned as descendants 
of Terah the father of Abraham, ^ who ' dwelt across the flood 
in the olden time ' ; ^ and, as they must have been already 
long settled in these parts when the Israelites arrived on their 
borders, they may very possibly have belonged to the Shep- 
herd-Kings of Manetho's story.'* And so the Deuteronomist 
represents Moses as saying that Jehovah had give7i their 
respective countries to Edom, Moab, and Ammon,"^ as He 
now would give to Israel the land of Canaan,^ and therefore 
commanded Israel not to molest them. And this fact, that 

* N. XX. 14-21, Ju.xi. 16,17. 

* p. 279. 

G.xi.27,xix.36-38,xxv. 19-30. ^ J.xxiv.2. 
D.ii.5,9,19. e D.i.8. 

U 2 


the Israelites did certainly abstain from disturbing those 
nations, while they did not spare the Amorites, who had 
invaded and permanently occupied a portion of the land of 
Moab/ suggests the existence, of a special relation between 
them, such as that which Manetho's story implies between the 
* Shepherd-Kings ' and the ' Leprous People.' 

Having first made the conquest of the trans-Jordanic lands, 
the Israelites in due time must have crossed the Jordan, 
though in some natural way, and without the help of that 
stupendous miracle recorded in the Book of Joshua — far more 
stupendous even than the crossing of the Red Sea — when the 
waters of that river in a state of flood, and overflowing all its 
banks, ' stood as they came down from above ' and * rose up 
upon an heap,' while three millions of men, women, and chil- 
dren, with all their herds and flocks, passed over on dry 
ground.^ Here they made good their footing in the land, 
partly by fighting, partly by intriguing, partly by inter- 
marrying with the old inhabitants, just exactly as the Anglo- 
Saxon conquest of England was efi"ected. How many the 
Israelites were at this time it is impossible to say : but as- 
suredly they were not the mighty host stated in the Pentateuch, 
and probably they were not one-tenth of that number, or even 
one-hundredth. That the Canaanites, however, were not 
utterly destroyed, but lived on in the land, mixing probably 
for the most part on friendly terms with the Israelites, and 
gradually blending with them and disappearing, is plain from 
express statements in the Book of Judges,^ as well as from 
David's friendship with the Phoenicians,^^ who are reckoned 
among the tribes to be extlrpated,^^ and from Solomon's 
marrying women of the Hittites,*^ and levying a tribute of 
bondservice upon the remnant of the Amorites, Hittites, 

' N.xxi. 24-26, Ju.xi. 12-23. * J-iii- 15-17. 

^ Ju.i.2i,27-36,xix, 10-12, co7np. iS.vii. 14, 2S.v.6-9,xxiv. 16, 18. 

'" 2S.V II, iK.v. I. " J.xiii.6,xix.28, 29. '^ iK.xi. I, comp. x.29. 


Perizzltes, Hivites, and Jebusites, still existing in his days,^^ 
three centuries after the Exodus. We learn also, from the 
history contained in the Book of Judges, that the tribes of 
Israel did not for some considerable time exist as one nation^ 
but either acted independently of each other,^* or else com- 
bined in larger or smaller bodies,^-^ as circumstances required. 
In short, the mighty conquests, which are ascribed to the 
leadership of Moses and Joshua, and are represented as the 
achievements of a few weeks, were most probably effected in 
a much longer period, and by much more gradual and every- 
day processes. 

Hence about 120 years seem to have passed after the 
entrance into Canaan, during the time commonly known 
as the time of the Judges, till the days when * the words of 
Samuel came to all Israel,' ^^ during the greater part of which 
Eli must have lived, if he was really 98 years old at his death 
soon afterwards.^^ Probably Eli, like the other Judges, only 
judged a portion of ' all Israel,' and some of them may have 
been contemporary with others, 'judging' or ruling in different 
parts of the land at the same time. But even Samuel, in the 
discharge of his office, seems to have confined his personal 
administration of justice to a very small circuit in Judah and 
Benjamin, viz. Bethel, Gilgal, and Mizpeh, sacred places 
which he visited in turn around his birthplace and dwelling- 
place at Ramah;^*^ and he afterwards made his sons judges 
at Beersheba in the south of Judah,^^ on the frontier of Egypt. 
In short, the life of Israel as '3.nation'\\2.6. not yet begun ; and, 
though the attempt had been made at some time to set up a 

" iK.ix.20,2i. ** 'Ephraim,' Ju.iii.27, * Gilead' or * Gad,' xi.ii, 

cofnp. xii. 1-6. 

'^ Ju.v. 15-17, where complaint is made that Reuben, Gad, Dan, and Asher 
took no part in the fight, while Judah, Simeon, and Levi are not even mentioned 
— vi.35,vii.23, comp. viii.1-3, where Gideon summons only Manasseh, Asher, 
Zebulun, and Napthali — xx,xxi, where 'all Israel' fight with Benjamin. 

"* iS.iv. I. '^ z'. 15. "* iS.vii. 15-17. '" iS.viii. 1,3, 


king in the person of Gideon,20and in that of his son Abimelech,^^ 
it had altogether failed. Only at last, when Samuel grew old, 
and his sons ' turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and 
perverted judgment,' we read that 'all the elders of Israel 
gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto 
Ramah and said unto him, Lo ! thou art old, and thy sons 
walk not in thy way : now make us a king to judge us like 
all the nations.' ^^ And Samuel complied with their request,^^ 
and thus the nation was united for the first time under Saul, 
who, after gaining as leader of the Hebrew forces a decisive 
victory over the Ammonites, was ' made king before JEHOVAH 
at the Gilgal.'24 

* Before JEHOVAH,' says the text just quoted, and we must 
now look back once more upon the religious history of Israel. 
We have already seen in a former Lecture ^^ that, according 
to the most ancient writer in the Pentateuch, the people had 
never heard this name until the time of the Exodus, when it 
is stated to have been specially revealed to Moses ; before 
which time, in Egypt and previous to their arrival there, they 
had only used the name ' Elohim,' God, or ' El Shaddai,' 
God Almighty, as the personal name of the Deity. And 
this, as I observed, when translated into real historical fact, 
can mean only this, that the Israelites first Jieard the name 
Jehovah abotit the time of the Exodus. In Egypt and pre^ 
viously they had probably used the name Elohim or El 
Shaddai ; and either in Egypt itself or on their way to 
Canaan they may have made an ark of ' shittim ' or acacia 
wood for sacred purposes from the trees which grew, as they 
still do, in the wilderness, as also in certain parts of Egypt, 
in which ark was carried some symbol of the Deity, after the 
example of those which are exhibited on Egyptian monuments 
as carried about by the priests in religious processions,^*^ and 

20 Ju.viii.22. 21Ju.ix.i_6. 22 1S.viii.I-5. " iS.X.24,25, 

?* iS.xi.i5. 25 p. 75,76. 26 j)i^f^ 0/ (he Bible, I. p. 106-7. 


with which, of course, the enslaved Hebrews had long been, 
familiar. Moreover, as we have seen,^^ the tribe of Levi, the 
leader's own tribe, seems from the first to have been specially 
set apart, again after Egyptian fashion, as a sacred caste for 
the work of the priesthood. But they heard the name JEHO- 
VAH or Yx\HVEH first, not just before the Exodus, as the story 
represents it, but just after it, as soon as they had reached 
the land of Canaan. For there, in the worship of the Syrian 
tribes in the northern district, the mysterious name of the 
Sun-God, the Baal or Lord, ' the God of the land,' ^^ was 
Yakhveh, or, as pronounced by the more southern tribes, 
Yahveh, 'Living-One,' or ' Life-Giver '; ^^ from whom it 
came gradually into use among the Israelites, as they became 
settled in their new abodes, and wished to be protected by 
the local Deity whose land they had possessed. Thus David 
says, ' They have driven me out this day from cleaving to the 
inheritance of Yahveh, saying, Go, serve another Elohim,'^^ 
and Naaman asks, 'Shall there not now be given to thy 
servant two mules' load of earth .? for thy servant will hence- 
forth ofi"er neither burnt-ofi"ering nor sacrifice to another 
Elohim, but only unto Yahveh ' ^^ — from which we see how 
intimately connected, in the views of that age, was the 
worship of YAHVEH with the very soil of the land of Canaan. 
Of course, the prophets of Israel would be very unwilling 
to allow that the name was derived from the idolatrous 
Canaanites ; and hence they tried to account for its becoming 
known to Israel by the supposition of a direct revelation to 
Moses. And so, too, ' the Gilgal ' or * Circle,' near Jericho on 
the banks of the Jordan, was in all probability merely a circle 
of twelve large stones, — the number perhaps referring to the 
twelve months of the year or the twelve Signs of the Zodiac 
— which the Hebrews found already set up in the primeval 

2' p. 240. 2^ 2K.xvii, 26-28. -" p. 77. 

"» lS.xxvi.i9. *' 2K.V.17. 


times for Sun-worship, like our own famous circle at Stone- 
henge ; and it would be as easy for an active imagination to 
devise some incident in ancient British history, to account for 
the erection of these stones, as it was for the Hebrew writer 
to represent the twelve stones as having been set up at the 
Gilgal in memory of the miraculous passage of the Jordan 
by the twelve tribes,^^ as well as other twelve which * Joshua 
set up in the midst of the Jordan, in the place where the feet 
of the priests who bare the ark of the covenant, stood — and 
they are there unto this day.' ^^ 

Accordingly, we find many features of the Israelitish 
worship derived from that of the Canaanites, as, for instance, 
from that of the Phoenicians, by whose help the Temple of 
Solomon was built.^'^ Thus the ' gourds,' * lilies,' ' palm-trees,' 

* open flowers,' * pomegranates,' which ornamented the 
Temple,^^ and the ' two brazen pillars ' which were placed at 
the entrance of it,^^ all appear in Phoenician temples, and 
belong mostly to the worship of the Sun-God, being used to 
symbolise in various ways the life awakened by the Sun's in- 
fluence in nature. And so Solomon built high-places on the 
Mount of Olives, close to Jerusalem, for * Molech ' and * Che- 
mosh,' ^^ the names under which the Sun-God was worshipped 
by his Ammonite and Moabite wives, and another for Ashte- 
roth or Astarte, the Moon-Goddess,^^ for the use of his 
Sidonian and Phoenician wives, and he, no doubt, himself 
took part in their worship, as indeed we are expressly told 

* Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians 
and after Molech the abomination of the Moabites ' ; ^^ and 
these high-places remained throughout the reigns of the most 
pious kings, until they were destroyed by Josiah''" in the 
Great Reformation, after the finding of the Book of Deutero- 

^2 J.iv.20-24. " J.iv.9. ^^ iK.vii,i3,i4. 

3^ iK. vi.29,32, 35, vii. 19,20,26,36,42. 36 iK.vii. 15-22. " iK.xi.7. 
3« 2K.xxiii. 13. 39 iK.xi.5. <» 2K.xxiii.13. 


nomy, in the eighteenth year of his reign. And, that such 
high-places were frequented down to the latest days of the 
kingdom of Judah, is shown conclusively by the complaint 
which the Jewish women, who had escaped into Egypt after 
the destruction of Jerusalem, made to the prophet Jeremiah 
— * As for the word that thou hast spoken unto us in the 
name of Jehovah, we will not hearken unto thee. But we 
will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth forth out of our own 
mouth, to burn incense unto the Queen of Heaven and to 
pour out drink-offerings unto her, as we have done, we> 
and our fathers, our kings, and our princes, in the cities of 
Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem : for then we had 
plenty of victuals and were well and saw no evil. But since 
we left off to burn-incense to the Queen of Heaven and to 
pour out drink-offerings unto her, we have wanted all things, 
and have been consumed by the sword and by the famine. 
And when we burned-incense to the Queen of Heaven, and 
poured out drink-offerings unto her, did we make her cakes to 
worship her and poured out drink-offerings unto her, without 
our men ? ' ^"^ — that is, without the cognizance and consent of 
our husbands. These ' cakes ' were buns,''^ marked with a 
cross or other symbol of Sun worship ; ^^ and from these have 
been derived our modern ' hot cross buns,' as the paschal eggs 
' figured in the Chaldean rites just as they do now,' ^^ and the 
worship of the Virgin has been substituted for the worship of 
the * Queen of Heaven.' No doubt, it will surprise many in 
our own day — and perhaps offend some— to find that these 
and other practices of Christendom have been borrowed from 
heathen Sun worship. And so the great prophets of Israel, 
who were always striving to raise their people above the 
grovelling notions of the tribes around them to higher and 
truer ideas of the Deity, very naturally disavowed an idola- 

*' Jer.xliv. 16-19. ^^ ISMA^^s Ancient Faifhs, p.378,&c. 


trous origin for the worship of JEHOVAH ; and accordingly 
they speak everywhere of the heathen worship, or of Israel- 
itish worship when practised with heathen rites, as worship of 
the Baal ''^ or of Molech.'**^ But, as we have seen,''^ the very 
same practices, which were used by the heathen in Baal- 
worship, are denounced in the Bible as habitually used in 
Israel, and countenanced and enforced by the examples of 
very many of their kings, and the great multitude of their 
priests and prophets. The grossest licentiousness was ex- 
hibited in close connection with the Temple-worship ; ^^ foul 
symbols, called asJieras, and mistranslated in our English 
Version ' groves,' were set up by the altar of Yahveh ; '^^ and 
sacrifices of first-born children were offered, down to the time 
of Josiah's Reformation.^^ So, when Jeremiah says in one 
place, ' As the number of thy cities, so are thy gods, O Judah,' 
he explains this elsewhere to mean that they had set up 
everywhere ' altars to that shame, altars to sacrifice unto the 
Baal.'^^ And Ezekiel must have witnessed with his own 
eyes such worship going on in the Temple itself, when he 
sees in his vision Jewish women 'weeping for Tammuz,' that 
is, for the dead Adonis or Lord, the Sun-God, for whom they 
wept as killed by a savage boar, but greeted with joy as re- 
stored to life on the third day, symbolising thus the passage 
of the Sun through the winter solstice, — as also when he sees 
men * at the door of the Temple, between the porch and the 
altar, with their backs to the Temple and their faces towards 
the East, worshipping the Sun towards the East.' ^^ 

In short, it is plain that in the view of the people generally, 
whatever the prophets might say to the contrary, JEHOVAH 
or Yahveh was identified with ' the Baal.' Accordingly, not 

" Ju.ii.ii,i3,iu.7,viii.33,x.6, lO, iS.vii.4,,&c. 

" Jer.xxxii.35, comp. L.xviii.2i,xx.2-5. " p. 145-6. 

*« iK.xiv.24,xv. 12, 2K.xxiii 7, comp. D.xxiii.18. " 2K.xxi.7,xxiii.4,6,7. 

^ p.265-6. *' Jer.ii.28,xi. 13. *^ Ez.viii. 14, 16. 


only in the rude time of the Judges a JOASH, though his own 
name begins with JEHO or Jo, that is, with JEIIOVAII, could 
have an 'altar of the Baal,' and call his son Jerub^^frt'/, that is, 
' Baal shall contend ' ; -'^ but, as we have seen,""* in Samuel's 
age, when Jehovah was fully recognised as the National 
Deity of Israel, and the most strenuous efforts were made to 
establish His worship as such, Saul gave to his son the name 
Y.A\baal, 'man of Baal,' y^nathan to his son the name of 
yi^r\baal, ' Baal is contending,' and David to his son the 
name ^^^^/yadah, ' Baal knows,' instead of calling him El- 
yadah or y^y^^iada. And so, on the other hand, Jeze/;<f/, the 
Tyrian princess, queen of Ahab, whose own name is com- 
pounded with Baal, as were those of her father, Y.Xhbaal;'''' and 
of her countrymen, Wd^nmbal, Asdru/;^?/, Adher^^?/, who figure 
in Roman story, had her sons named Ah^ziah ^^ and y^ram,*^^ 
and her daughter AihdXiah,^^ all compounded with Jehovah 
or Yahveh. This fact shows that there was no essential 
difference between the Tyrian Baal, Hercules, whose worship 
was introduced by Jezebel among the Israelites ^'-^ and rooted 
out by Jehu,^'^ and the Syria?i Baal, Yahveh or Yakhveh, 
lacchus or Bacchus, who was worshipped of old in Israel 
under the form of a calf.^' The former worship was more 
stern and severe, the Sun-God being chiefly regarded on the 
more gloomy side of his character, being dreaded as having 
power to scorch and wither and destroy, and propitiated 
therefore with human sacrifices, not merely those of firstborn 
infants ; the latter was a more licentious and sensual worship, 
in which the Sun-God was hailed as the source of all life. But 
the Deity worship was the Sun-God still. And so, when 
Elijah slew the ' 450 prophets of the Baal, ' ^^ — that is, of the 
austere worship newly introduced by Jezebel — he did not slay 

",32. ** p-79- " 1K.xvi.31. ^« iK.xxii.51,52. 

" 2K.iii.i,2. *8 2K.viii. 18,26. " iK.xvi.31,32. 6« 2K.X.18, 28. 

«• E.xxxii.4, 1K.xii.28, Hos.viii.5,6,x.5,\iii.2. *'^ iK.xviii. 19.22,40. 


the '400 prophets of the ashcras, who ate at Jezebel's table,'^^ 
and belonged to the more genial worship of Yahveh. And 
in like manner Jehu, when he 'destroyed the Baal out 
of Israel,' ^^ destroyed only this foreign form of worship, 
but adhered himself to the national form of Baal-worship 
which had long been practised in Israel ; for we read, 
* Howbeit from the sins of Jeroboam, son of Nebat, who 
made Israel to sin, Jehu departed not from after them, to 
wit, the golden calves that were in Bethel and that were in 
Dan.' <^-^ 

Upon the whole, then, we conclude that the Israelites de- 
rived the name Yahveh from contact with the tribes of 
Canaan, and that in the view of the people his worship was 
identified with that of the Baal, * the God of the land.' They 
may have begun to use it soon after their entrance into 
Canaan, especially among the northern tribes ; and hence we 
may account for the two or three names of persons belonging 
to those tribes, apparently formed with Yahveh, which we 
find in the Book of Judges.^^ Under Saul, however, the 
national life of Israel began ; and so under Saul Yahveh 
appears to have been first distinctly recognised as the national 
Deity of Israel. And this took place, no doubt, under the 
direct influence of Samuel himself, who did so much to secure 
their temporal prosperity, and, as the tradition seems to 
imply, was equally zealous to promote their religious welfare, 
though the original account of Samuel's doings is very much 
coloured by later Deuteronomistic insertions.^^ It need not, 
of course, be supposed that Samuel's views of the Divine 
character, however elevated above that of his contemporaries, 

" iK.xviii.i9,xxii.6. " 2K.X.28. " v.2<). 

^ y<7ash, vi.ii, >tham, ix.5, Micah (? = Mica/^//), xvii.8 : but the first two 
names may be otherwise derived, as e.g. Joseph is, and the derivation of the third 
is doubtful. N.B. ^c^nathan, xviii.30, occurs in an interpolated verse. 

*'' viz. iS.vii.3-i4,viii.6-20,x.8,i8,i9,25a,xii.i-25,xiii.8-i5a. 


had advanced to the height on which the Dcuteronomist stood 
some centuries afterwards. But that such religious zeal was 
traditionally ascribed to Samuel is shown by these very in- 
sertions, as well as by the fact that he is classed with Moses 
by Jeremiah, the Dcuteronomist himself, who says * Though 
Moses and Samuel stood before Me, My mind could not be 
towards this people.' ^^ For why should Moses and Samuel 
have been coupled thus together, unless in the view of Jere- 
miah there was some special relation between them } Does 
not this simple fact, in short imply, that in Jeremiah's view 
Samuel was a lawgiver in the same sense as Moses — was the 
lawgiver, in fact, whose ordinances may very possibly be re- 
tained, as we saw in a former Lecture,^''' in that original code 
upon which in the Book of Exodus the covenant made between 
Yahveh and Israel was based. 

So, too, when Jeremiah says, * Yahveii thy Elohim is a 
Devouring Fire,' ^° or Isaiah asks, ' Who among us shall dwell 
with the Devouring Fire ? ' ^^ this symbol of Fire — like that 
of Light, so often used by the greater prophets in speaking of 
Yahveh ^^ — is probably derived from the original connection 
of this name with the worship of the Sun-God. In like 
manner the Cross, which in pre-Christian times was used as 
the symbol of the Sun,^^ the * light of this world,' has now 
been made the symbol of the spiritual Sun, that ' true Light 
which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.' As 
regards the outward decoration, the Christian female of the 
present day may be but following unconsciously the example 
of her sisters of old, in Alexandria and elsewhere. But for 
her the Cross has now a deeper meaning, not only as the 
symbol of light and life brought near to us in the Gospel of 

«8 Jer.xv. I. «» P-I3S- "* D.iv.24,ix.3. 

" Is.xxxiii.14, " Is.x. 17, Mic.vii.8, Ps.iv.6,xxvii.i,&c. 

" See App. HI. 


Christ, but as a reminder of the fact that the Great Light- 
bringer 'suffered even unto death, the death of the Cross/ 
and of the truth that they who would follow in his steps, the 
saviours and benefactors of mankind in all ages, must expect 
to share in their measure the lot of their Lord. 



The O.S. of the Pentateuch composed in the age of Saul, David, and 
Solomon ; its account of primeval times fictitious or mythical ; indications of 
the fictitious character of the history of the patriarchal times in Genesis ; the 
Elohistic Narrative contains very scanty details of the personal acts of the 
patriarchs, except the account of Abraham's purchasing a burying-place from 
the aboriginal inhabitants of the land of Canaan ; the Elohist here lays special 
stress on Hebron, the original capital of David's Kingdom, as elsewhere he 
does on Bethel, the famous Sanctuary of the older times ; his account of the 
origin of the names * Bethel ' and ' Israel ' completely at variance with that of 
the Jehovist ; it is doubtful if the forefathers of the Israelites of the Exodus 
ever really lived in Canaan ; the story of Joseph also unhistorical, and 
perhaps fictitious ; the real history of Israel begins with the Exodus ; Hebrew 
Literature most probably originated in Samuel's prophetical schools where 
the O. S. was composed and was expanded into a complete narrative from the 
Creation to the first years of Solomon ; this came into the hands of Jeremiah 
(the Deuteronomist) in Josiah'stime, and was by him retouched and amplified, 
and extended to the time of the Captivity, and was subsequently enlarged 
during and after the Captivity, by the insertion of the priestly legislation ; 
the strange legend about Ezra's having rewritten the Books of Moses by 
Divine inspiration, which was received generally by the Fathers of the 
Church, probably points to his activity in copying and commending the Law 
with its latest additions ; what the Scriptures, when their origin is understood, 
may lose in miraculous character, they will gain in human interest. 


WILL now sum up briefly the results of my pre- 
ceding Lectures with reference to the Composi- 
tion of the Pentateuch and the other historical 
Books of the Bible before the Captivity. The 
oldest portion of the Pentateuch, the Elohistic Narrative, 
appears to have been written in the age of Samuel, and, if so, 
then most likely by Samuel's own hand.^ The work was pro- 
bably carried on by his disciples during the next age, the age 
of David and Solomon;^ and so the Original Story of the 
Exodus was completed very much in the form in which it 
came into the hands of Jeremiah the Deuteronomist,^ between 
three or four centuries afterwards. How much of that story, 
as it now lies before us, may have been derived from tradi- 
tionary or legendary matter still floating in the folk-lore of 
Israel, and how much may be due to the writer's own imagi- 
nation, it is, of course, impossible to say. We observe, how- 
ever, that the difl*erent writers seem quite as much at home 
when narrating matters which occurred before the time of 
Abraham, or even before the Flood, as after it. For instance, 
they give long lines of patriarchs, with very definite but mani- 

J p. 22-24, 38. ' P- 39,46-51, 57-67- 'p.148-52. 



festly fictitious ages, ranging from 969 years downwards, and 
beginning with the first man Adam.'' An attempt has been 
made to reduce these within ordinary limits by supposing that 
the ' year ' in these instances means merely a ' month ' ; but 
this is set aside at once by observing that the writer mentions 
both * year ' and ' month ' in speaking of Noah's age when 
the Flood began — ' in the six hundredth year of Noah's life, 
in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month.' ^ 
As these ages, then, are undoubtedly unhistorical, such lon- 
gevity being impossible on scientific grounds for human 
beings,^ we may safely conclude that the conversations re- 
ported between the Deity and Adam, Eve, and Cain, and the 
words addressed to the serpent and Noah, are also unhistori- 
cal — that, in short, the whole history of the antediluvian world, 
with the accounts of the Creation, the Fall, and the Deluge, 
is purely mythical, and that the popular traditionary dogmas 
founded upon them must be rejected, in the face of the certain 
results of Modern Science, from which we learn that the world 
was otherwise formed, that no such Flood ever covered the 
earth since the human race began to live upon it, and that 
animals of all kinds, and man himself, were in existence long 
ages before, according to the Scripture story, the Creation 
took place. 

But, leaving these portions of Genesis, which, indeed, as 
w^e have seen,^ contradict each other as well as the facts of 
Science, the question then arises as to the credibility of the 
later parts of that Book, those which describe the early so- 
journings in the land of Canaan of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, 
and the grandeur of Joseph in Egypt, which led to the settle- 
ment of the Hebrew people there. There would certainly be 
nothing strange in the supposition that real facts may lie at 
the foundation of these narratives — that, before the Israelites 

* G.v.xi. 10-26. 5 G.vii. II, comp. viu.5, 13, 14. 

« Prof. Owen {Frascr's Mag., Feb. 1872). ' P-S^. 


entered Egypt, their forefathers might have lived for some 
time in the land of Canaan, not as masters of the country, 
but merely as strangers and sojourners, till at last they re- 
moved from Canaan into Egypt at the summons of Joseph, 
as the story is told in the Book of Genesis. But then we 
have to consider that, if these accounts are really based on 
facts, the Israelites must have been long enough in Egypt to 
have increased from the ' seventy souls ' who went down with 
Jacob,^ to a mighty nation ; ^ and, further, that only those 
* seventy souls,' many of them mere children, could have 
known anything personally about the land of Canaan, and 
that it is incredible that they should have handed down by 
word of mouth long accurate details of conversations and 
transactions, in which their ancestors took part some centuries 
previously. Such things may be inmgined, as our great 
Scotch novelist has imagined them in stories referring to the 
times of Queen Elizabeth and James I. But no one supposes 
that such details could have been handed down correctly to 
his days, by mere traditionary reminiscences, from Elizabeth's 

Moreover, the most ancient writer in Genesis has very little 
to say about either of the three patriarchs except Abraham, 
though he mentions carefully in each case the names of their 
wives and children. He tells us, for instance, that Abraham 
begat Ishmael and Isaac, ^^ and that from Ishmael, the elder 
brother, were descended twelve Arabian tribes,^^ and so that 
Isaac begat Esau and Jacob,'^ and from Esau, again the elder 
brother, were derived the tribes of Edom,^^ and lastly that 
from Jacob sprang the twelve tribes of Israel.'^ But the real 
historical meaning of these statements may be this, that the 
Hebrews on their way to Canaan found already settled in 

^ G.xlvi.27, ' D.i. io,x.22,xxviii.62, '" G.xvi. i6,xxi.3, 

" G.XXV.12-16. " ^-.24-26. '=* G xxxvi. 

'* G.xxxv.22-26,xlvi.8-27,E.i.i-5. 
X 2 


those parts these Arabian and Edomite tribes, speaking sub- 
stantially the same language with themselves and therefore 
manifestly of kindred origin, having migrated in fact from the 
same neighbourhood in the far East beyond the Euphrates,^^ 
like the Moabites and Ammonites, who for a like reason are 
referred — though by a shameful birth — to Lot, Abraham's 
nephew, as their father,^^ that is, to the same stock as the 
Hebrews. Besides these genealogies, however, he records 
how El Shaddai, ' Almighty God,' made a Covenant with 
Abraham ' to be a God to him and his seed after him,' and 
to give to * him and to his seed after him ' possession of the 
land of Canaan, and sealed it with the rite of circumcision,^' 
and how He changed his name from * Abram ' to * Abraham ' 
on this occasion, and his wife's from * Sarai ' to * Sarah,' and 
promised them a son in their old age,^^ and how He after- 
wards made a Hke promise of the land of Canaan to 'Jacob 
and his seed after him,' and changed his name to ' Israel,' 
and Jacob called the name of the place where Elohim spoke 
with him Beth El, that is, ' House of God.' ^^ But the only 
transaction recorded by him, in which the patriarch himself 
takes a prominent part, is the purchase of a burying-place at 
Hebron from the old Hittite inhabitants of the land ^^ — the 
object of which story may have been, as I have said,^^ merely 
to give the Israelites, as it were, a seisin in the land, by ancient 
purchase of the site of Hebron, David's royal city during the 
first years of his reign,^^ which was further made sacred for 
Israel by the fact, according to this writer, that Abraham 
and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, Jacob and Leah, all lay 
buried there.^^ And Bethel, no doubt, was a very famous 
ancient sanctuary, where there stood a sacred stone, set up for 
purposes of worship in primitive times beyond all memory 

'^ G.xvii. 1-14. 

2" G.xxiii. 

" G.xlix.31,1.13. 

'* p. 281, 291. 

'« G.xii.5,xix.3o-38. 

>« z'.5, 15-19. 

'* G.XXXV.9-15. 

»> p. 23. 

" 2S.ii.11. 



of man ; and the writer here very naturally ascribes its pre- 
eminent sanctity to an act performed of old by Jacob. Here, 
however, Jacob sets up a pillar of stones, pours oil upon it, 
and calls the place 'Bethel/ and God at the same time 
changes his name to ' Israel/ on his return from Padan-Aram, 
whither his parents had sent him to procure a wife from 
thence, instead of marrying Hittite women as Esau had done.^^ 
But the later writer ascribes this journey of Jacob to dread 
of Esau's anger, and makes him perform the very same acts 
—viz. set up a pillar of stone, pour oil upon it, and call the 
place 'Bethel,'-on a totally different occasion, twenty years 
previously, on his way to Padan-Aram, when he had that 
vision of a ladder reaching from earth to heaven, 'and the 
angels of GOD ascending and descending upon it,' and conse- 
crated the stone which he had used for his pillow.^^ And so 
the chahge of Jacob's name took place, according to this 
later writer, not at Bethel in the land of Canaan, zvest of the 
Jordan, but some time previously at Peniel, east of the Jordan, 
when God, or an Angel, had wrestled with him all night, and 
being worsted said, ' Thy name shall be called no more jlcob. 
but Israel ; for as a prince hast thou power with GoD and 
men, and hast prevailed/ ^6 jh^ grotesqueness of this story 
is a clear proof that we have here only a fanciful attempt to 
derive the name ' Israel,' which really means ' El is a prince,' 
instead of ' one who is a prince with El.' But thus we see 
what has probably been done in a multitude of other cases, 
where names of persons and places, as the Israelites found them' 
on taking possession of the land, are ingeniously made the 
scenes of events which are supposed to have given rise to the 
names m question. About the life of Isaac the Elohist tells 
us scarcely anything; 2: but the active invention and graphic 
pen of the later Jehovist has in some measure filled up the 

2' G.XXvii.46,XXviii.I-5,xXXV.O-IC. ^^G vwn^r.r 

U.XXXII.24 ^O. .7 G.XX..2-5,xxv.I9,20,24^26,XXXV.27-29. 


blank with the spirited story of Jacob obtaining by craft his 
brother's blessing,^^ and with some other incidents,^^ as he has 
also enHvened the older accounts of Abraham and Jacob with 
several episodes. But the very fact that he has introduced 
these incidents, unknown apparently to the more ancient 
writer, — still more, the fact that four centuries later still the 
Deuteronomist could insert in Genesis the account of a solemn 
vision in which Jehovah pledges himself once more to give 
the land of Canaan to Abraham ^^ — is enough to show how 
much the imaginative faculty has been concerned in the com- 
position of these narratives. 

Upon the whole, it is very possible that these forefathers 
were never in the land of Canaan at all — that, in point of 
fact, they never really existed as individual men, but corre- 
spond to the mythical founders of other nations, whose histories 
are for the most part composed of fabulous narratives, which, 
so far as they are based at all on historical truth, shadow forth 
the doings of tribes and generations, instead of persons. 
Even the account of Joseph's being carried down as a slave 
to Egypt, and there rising to be Pharaoh's grand vizier, which 
led to his father and family settling in Egypt,^^ is in some of 
its statements so incredible that it is difficult to believe that 
we have here, any morQ than elsewhere in Genesis, veracious 
history. Thus the very basis of the whole story, the state- 
ment that, when there were seven successive years of dearth 
in Egypt, which in that land could only have arisen from de- 
ficient inundations of the Nile, there was also * sore famine,' 
year after year, ' in all lands,' ^^ which would have arisen from 
totally different causes, throws at once a grave doubt upon 
the historical character of the narrative. This detailed narra- 
tive, in fact, may be merely a work of imagination like the 
rest, which has been substituted for some brief notice which 

^^ G.xxvii.i-45. ^^ G. XXV. 2 7-34, XXVI. 3" G.xv, 

»' G.xlv.4-13. s^' G.xli.54,57. 


the older writer had given of the way in which the IsraeUtes 
came into Egypt, apparently on the summons of Joseph, since 
he speaks of him as already settled there,^^ and names him 
alone as of most importance when he writes — ' And Joseph 
died and all his brethren and all that generation.' ^^ Tradi- 
tion said, and said truly, it would seem, as we have inferred 
from comparing the Egyptian records,^^ that the Hebrews 
had at one time been slaves in Egypt. But how they first 
arrived there was unknown ; the tradition of that event had 
been lost in the course of time ; as the Zulus have no recol- 
lection of the past beyond a few generations, and can tell us 
nothing of the cause — whether the pressure of other tribes 
behind them or the desire to find more ample grazing-grounds 
— which brought them down to these S.E. parts of Africa. 
Accordingly, the story of Joseph's doings may have been 
merely invented to account for the presence of the Hebrews 
in former time in Egypt, and to show that all the cruel treat- 
ment, which they had received at the hands of the Egyptians, 
was a most ungrateful return for the services rendered to 
the Pharaoh and people of other days by one of Hebrew 
blood. And very probably the writer of this section was 
one of the tribe of Joseph, an Ephraimite among the dis- 
ciples of Samuel, who took thus an opportunity of lauding 
his own ancestor, or rather, of reflecting glory on the popu- 
lous tribe of Ephraim, the powerful leader of the northern 

However this may be, the real history of the Hebrews 
begins with the Exodus, and that of the Hebrew nation with 
the times of Saul and Samuel ; and in that age also, as we 
have seen,^^ the idea of writing some popular account of the 
Exodus out of Egypt most probably originated and was 
carried into effect in the schools of the prophets, where also, 

•'•' G.xlvi.20a,27, E.i.5b. ^^ E.i.6. ^''' p. 279-282. ="* p. 21. 


no doubt, other literary works were composed, such as the 
' Book of Jashar,' ^^ that is, the * Book of the Righteous 
One,' viz. of the righteous people, Jeshurun ^^ or Israel, and 
the ' Book of the Wars of Jehovah,' ^^ that is, of the wars of 
Israel, whose cause was identified with that of its National 
Deity, His people being supposed to fight His battles with 
His strong co-operation as a ' Man of War ' ^° — both which 
books are now lost. To the same circle of writers may be 
ascribed the most ancient portions of the Books of Judges and 
Ruth, and of the two Books of Samuel — in fact, the whole 
history in its original form, as it came into the hands of the 
Deuteronomist, from G.i to 2S.xxiv, and even to 1K.ix.25, 
after which we find no further trace of it. This work, which 
now formed a continuous historical narrative from the 
Creation downwards to the time of Solomon, perhaps lay 
deposited in the Temple, or in the charge of the chief-priest, 
till the days of Jeremiah, who retouched and enlarged it 
throughout,''^ and especially wrote the main address of Moses 
in Deuteronomy, the * finding ' of which in the Temple gave 
rise to Josiah's Reformation.''^ To this he afterwards pre- 
fixed four introductory and appended two concluding chap- 
ters,''^ and he wrote also, as is generally agreed,'*'' the rest of 
the Books of Kings from the time of Solomon downwards, 
for which he most probably had at his disposal some older, 
perhaps official, records out of the different reigns. Ac- 
cordingly the hand of one and the same writer can be dis- 
tinctly traced, not only throughout almost the whole of 
Deuteronomy, but in passages of Genesis, Exodus, Joshua, 
Judges, the two Books of Samuel, and the first nine chapters 
of Kings, as well as throughout the rest of the Books of 
Kings and the prophecies of Jeremiah. In other words, it is 

8^ J.X.13, 2S.i.i8. 88 D.xxxii.i5,xxxiii.5,26, ^9 N.xxi.14. 

** E. XV. 3,6, Ps.xxiv.8. *' p. 150. " P-I52. 

" p. 138. " Bishop Lord Hervey (Z?.^.n.p.28). 


plain that Jeremiah has either written or retouched and edited 
the whole of the history from G.i to 2K.xxv, which accordingly 
exhibits very clearly, wherever his hand has been at work, the 
stamp of his prophetical character. 

Finally, during the first years of Jehoiachin's Captivity, 
Ezekiel followed Jeremiah's example, by writing L.xviii-xx and 
especially L-xxvi."*^ And his work was taken up during the 
Captivity and after it, by a series of priestly writers who have 
composed nearly half of the present Pentateuch, and made a 
few insertions, here and there, in the rest of the history as left 
by Jeremiah,^^ but who, in doing this, departed widely from 
the tone and spirit of the old prophetical writers, representing 
Jehovah as taking a special interest in a multitude of minute 
ritualistic observances, and ascribing to Divine authority a 
series of most stringent ordinances for maintaining the pre- 
rogatives of the priests and Levites, which whosoever should 
transgress ' shall surely die.' ^^ Very probably, Ezra, about a 
century after the Captivity, had a large share in this work, 
which seems to have been brought very nearly to a close in 
his days, about B.C. 450, as far as the Hebrew Text is con 
cerned, though it may have received some additions even after 
that time ; for the numerous alterations in the Samaritan 
Text imply that the work of revision and correction was still 
going on more than a century afterwards, while the Septuagint 
Version shows plainly that the Greek Translators must have 
had before them copies of the Hebrew Scriptures differing in 
many respects materially from our own. 

That something, however, was really done by Ezra, at least 
in editing and publishing the Law, seems to be implied by the 
Jewish tradition, which was adopted generally by the early 
Fathers, based probably upon the story told in the apocryphal 

" p. 192. 

*^ e.g. Ju.xviii.30,xx.27b,28a, iK.iii. i6-28,iv.24-34, v. i5-i8,vi. 1,11-14, viii.4, 
5,10, 1 1, 63,64, xii. 4-1 6. " N.i.5i,iii. io,38,xvi.40,xviii.22. 


Second Book of Esdras. Here Ezra says, 'Thy Law is 

burnt ; therefore no man knoweth the things that are done of 

Thee or the works that shall begin. But, if I have found 

grace before Thee, send the Holy Ghost into me, that I may 

write all that has been done in the world since the beginning, 

which was written in Thy Law, so that they which live in the 

latter days may live.' And Ezra says that his prayer was 

heard, and he was told to retire into a private place with five 

men ' ready to write swiftly,' and with ' many box-wood 

tables to write upon.' ' So I took the five men as He bade 

me, and we went into the field and stayed there. And the 

next day lo ! a voice called me saying, Ezra, open thy mouth, 

and drink that Vv^hich I give thee to drink. Then I opened 

my mouth, and lo ! he reached me a full cup, which was 

filled, as it were, with water, but the colour of it was like fire. 

And I took it and drank ; and, when I had drunk of it, my 

heart uttered understanding, and wisdom grew in my breast ; 

for my spirit strengthened my memory, and my mouth was 

opened and shut no more. The Highest gave understanding 

unto the five men, and they wrote the wonderful visions of 

the night that were told, which they knew not ; and they sat 

forty days, and they wrote in the day and at night they ate 
bread.' ^8 

Accordingly, JEROME ^^ says, 'Whether you choose to say 
that Moses was the author of the Pentateuch or Ezra the 
restorer of that work, I have no objection ' ; while earlier 
Fathers speak more positively, as AUGUSTINE,^^ ' Ezra re- 
stored the Law, which had been burnt by the Chaldaeans in 
the Temple archives, he being full of the same Spirit which 
had been in the Scriptures,' and CLEMENT ^^ of Alexandria, 
* When the Scriptures had been destroyed in the Captivity of 
Nebuchadnezzar, Ezra the Levite the priest, in the time of 

*» 2Esdr.xiv.2i-42. « Ad. Heb. III. 

'" I^cmir. 6-.6-.ii.33. *' Strom. I.xxii.49. 


Artaxerxes king of the Persians, having become inspired, 
reproduced prophetically all the ancient Scriptures,' and 
Tertullian,^^ * When Jerusalem was destroyed by the 
Babylonian storming, it is well known that every article of 
Jewish Literature was restored by Ezra,' and IREN^EUS,^^ 
* Then, in the times of Artaxerxes king of the Persians, He 
inspired Ezra the priest of the tribe of Levi, to set in order 
again all the words of the former prophets, and restore for 
the people the Legislation of Moses.' So remarkable a story 
can hardly have originated without some strong tradition 
having pointed to Ezra having had a large share in writing 
the later portions of the priestly Law, or else to his having 
compiled that Law and exerted himself energetically in 
making it known to his contemporaries. 

I have thus endeavoured to set before you as plainly as I 
can the main results of Modern Biblical Criticism as regards 
the composition of the Pentateuch. Doubtless, as the conse- 
quence of these conclusions, the popular ideas as to the nature 
of the Divine action among the Jews will have to be materially 
modified. The whole will become thoroughly humanised. 
The preternatural Divine influence will withdraw from the 
prominent place, which it occupies in the narrative as we 
read it, to that invisible action, which is familiarised to us by 
our own experience. But what the Scriptures may lose in 
revealing power, they will gain in human interest. The sacred 
history does indeed change its aspect under the influence of 
criticism. But it does not therefore cease to be a history, 
though a history whose importance is to be estimated rather 
by the ideas of which it records the rise and development, 
and the consequences that have flowed from them, than by 
any phenomena accompanying their introduction. Not the 
less does this history remain the preparatory stage for the 

" De hab. mill. III. " adv. fmr. III.xxi.2. 


coming of that Divine Light which has * lighted the Gentiles ' 
ever since, at least over the whole Western World, and will 
yet be, as we trust, ' the glory of God's people Israel' For, 
if their * casting away,' as St. Paul says, became ' the recon- 
ciling of the world ' ^^ — if their blind attachment to the Law of 
Moses, which was in truth the work of their fathers when 
Moses had been in his grave for centuries, has hitherto kept 
them back as a body from the full enjoyment of that light, 
and of that liberty wherewith Christ has made us free as 
children of God, — may we not hope and believe that there is 
a development yet in store for them as well as for us, perhaps 
through the influence of that critical research, which seems to 
be crushing into powder the * letter,' at once their trust and 
their chain, — that the time is coming when the more thorough 
union of Semitic faith with Aryan thought will be to the 
Church of the Living God as * life from the dead ' ? ^® 

** Rom.xi, 15. ** See Sj>eaaiorf May 4, 1872, p.571. 



The Church Fathers uncritical and credulous in adopting the fabulous story 
about Ezra ; the apocryphal books of the O.T. regarded by the mass of 
Christendom as canonical, and in the Homilies of the Church of England as 
' the infallible Word of God ' ; the pretended commission of Artaxerxes, 
giving plenary powers to Ezra, altogether fictitious ; this appears also from 
the disorders existing when Nehemiah came to Jerusalem ; the Edict of 
Cyrus, allowing the Jews to return, quoted in part in Chronicles, is also 
fictitious ; the whole of Ezra and half of Nehemiah due to the Chronicler ; 
the letter to Artaxerxes and the royal rescript in Ezr. iv are authentic ; these 
documents evidently refer to the building of the walls of Jerusalem, but are 
here erroneously transferred to the building of the Temple fifty years pre- 
viously, which the writer represents as hindered by the enemies of Judah, in 
defiance of the facts of history, as shown by the prophet Haggai ; this fiction 
he tries to support by a letter supposed to have been addressed to Darius, 
and the king's supposed reply, quoting a decree of Cyrus supposed to have 
been found in the royal archives — all which is a pure fiction ; no dependence 
can be placed on the Chronicler's statements in these Books ; nothing is 
certainly known about Ezra, whom Nehemiah does not even mention, though 
a priest of that name may have been zealously concerned in copying and 
introducing, and perhaps in part composing, the Levitical Law. 


^N my last Lecture I spoke of Ezra as having pro- 
bably had a considerable share in composing the 
priestly portions of the Pentateuch ; and I quoted 
a passage from the Second Book of Esdras as- 
serting that Ezra had actually had the whole Law revealed 
to him afresh, when it had been destroyed and lost in the 
Babylonish Captivity, as also the statements of Jerome, 
Augustine, Clement, Tertullian, Iren^us, all to the 
same or similar purport. If, indeed, the authority of the 
Fathers of the Church is worth anything in such matters as 
these, it is difficult to see how a tradition so clear and so 
unanimously affirmed by so many of the most ancient, eminent, 
and learned of them, can be lightly rejected. Yet, I suppose, 
not the most zealous defender of traditionary views will now 
venture to maintain the historical veracity of these statements ; 
though the Roman Church regards all the apocryphal books 
of the O.T., and the Greek Church regards most of them, as 
being equally Divine and infallible with the other Scriptures, 
a belief which prevailed also in the Church of England at the 
time when the Book of HomiHes was written, in which we 
read, * Almighty God by the Wise Man saith/ ' referring to 

' Hojuilies (Corrie's Ed.), p. 73. 


the Book of Wisdom, and passages out of the Apocr>'pha are 
quoted as 'places of Scripture' in which 'the Holy Ghost 
doth teach,' 2 as ' the Word of God,'^ ' the infallible and unde- 
ceivable Word of God.' ^ The Fathers in question have evi- 
dently copied from one another or from the story in the Book 
of Esdras (a.d. ioo) ; and their statements serve only to show 
how unreasoning and credulous were these good men, and 
how little dependence therefore can be placed on their 
critical judgment in respect of any of the Canonical Books, 
either of the Old Testament or of the New. 

But who was Ezra } The question might be easily 
answered, if we could trust to the data of the ' Book of Ezra,' 
which stands in our Bibles between the Books of Chronicles 
and the Book of Nehemiah. For this book tells us that Ezra 
was a ' priest the son of Aaron,' ^ and also ' a ready scribe in 
the Law of Moses,' ^ who went up from Babylon to Jerusalem 
at his own request in the seventh year of Artaxerxes, having 
* prepared his heart to seek the Law of JEHOVAH and to do 
it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments.'^ It states 
further that the king issued to him a formal commission, 
permitting any that pleased to go to Jerusalem with him, of 
the people, the priests, and the Levites, and authorising him 
to ' enquire concerning Judah and Jerusalem, according to 
the Law of his God which was in his hand,' and with * the 
silver and gold which the king and his counsellors had freely 
offered unto the God of Israel whose dwelling was in Jerusa- 
lem,' in addition to the freewill offerings of his own people, 
to buy sacrifices for the Temple, together with their proper 
' meal-offerings and drink-offerings,' and to spend the rest as 
he thought proper ; and ' whatsoever more shall be needed 
for the House of thy God, which thou shalt have occasion to 
bestow, bestow it out of the king's treasury. And I, even I, 

2 Hoviilies (Conie's Ed.), p. 391. ^ Ih. p.246,247. ■• lb. p. 106. 

' Ezr.vii. 1-5. ^ v.d, ' v.d-io. 


Artaxerxes the king", do make a decree to all the treasurers 
which are across the River, that whatsoever Ezra the priest, 
the scribe of the Law of the God of Heaven, shall require of 
you, it be done speedily. . . . Whatsoever is commanded by 
the God of Heaven, let it be diligently done for the House of 
the God of Heaven ; for why should there be wrath against 
the realm of the king and his sons ? Also we certify you that 
touching any of the priests and the Levites, choristers, gate- 
keepers, Nethinim, or servants of the House of God, it shall 
not be lawful to impose toll, tribute, or custom upon them. 
And thou, Ezra, after the wisdom of thy God that is in thine 
hand, set magistrates and judges, who may judge all the 
people that are across the River, all such as know the laws of 
thy God, and teach ye them that know them not. And who- 
soever will not do the law of thy God and the law of the king, 
let judgment be executed speedily upon him, whether it be 
unto death or to banishment or to confiscation of goods or to 

Let us now consider a little the contents of this extraordi- 
nary commission, which, in the form of a letter to Ezra, 
invests this Jewish priest with plenary power over the lives 
and liberties and properties of all the king's subjects, not in 
Judah only, but in all the district 'across the River,' that is, 
in all the regions west of the Great River Euphrates, denouncing 
the most terrible penalties, not only against any who ' will 
not do the law of the king,' but also against all who ' will not 
do the law of Ezra's God.'^ Very many of those to whom 
such a decree would have applied would most probably have 
been of the same religion as the king himself, and many also 
would have been Samaritans, who are represented in this 
book as living in bitter hostility to the Jews.'° Can it be 
believed that Artaxerxes would have subjected all these to 

• Ezr.vii.ii-26. ^ z'.26. '" Ezr.iv. i-i6,23,24,v.6-i7. 


the penalty of death, if they disobeyed the 'Law of Jehovah' 
as taught by Ezra ? Of the Law, probably, most of these 
people knew little or nothing. But they are here, it seems, 
to be converted to the Jewish religion — 'teach ye them that 
know not the laws of thy God,'^^ — in true Mahommedan 
fashion, with the threat of imprisonment, confiscation, banish- 
ment, or death, if they did not receive it ! ^^ Is this an edict 
of Artaxerxes or a mere dream of a later age ? Moreover, 
Ezra is to appoint ' magistrates and judges, who shall judge 
all the people across the River, such as know already the laws 
of his God,' ^^ and, of course, all the others when converted. 
Was, then, the priest Ezra to supersede the satraps and 
governors already ruling ' across the River,' by virtue of this 
letter addressed to himself ? Yet the ' treasurers ' across the 
River were, it seems, to remain in office, and to supply Ezra's 
demands for the Temple to any extent V^ Lastly, the king 
writes familiarly about 'the priests and the Levites,'^^ 'Judah 
and Jerusalem,' ^^ ' the God of Israel, whose dwelling is in 
Jerusalem,' ^^ ' meat-offerings and drink-offerings,' ^^ and he 
exempts from payment of 'toll, tribute, or custom' the 'priests 
and Levites, choristers, gate-keepers, and Nethinim or menials 
of the Temple,' ^^ writing just as if he had by heart the whole 
string of phrases of the Later Legislation ; he enjoins that 
the ' bullocks, rams, and lambs,' required for the Levitical 
Sacrifices, shall be promptly purchased ; ^^ and he refers again 
and again to 'the Law,'^^ just as any well-trained Jew might 
have done. In short, it is clear that this 'letter' of Artaxerxes 
is a pure fiction, written with the view of magnifying the 
position and authority of ' Ezra the priest,' the renewer of the 
Law of Moses. But that Ezra had no such powers really 
committed to him is evident from the fact that Nehemiah, on 

" Ezr.vii.25. >2 ^,26. 13 v.2^. '* z/. 21-23. 

'5^^.13,14. i« z'.i4. " ^'.15. >« z'.i;. 

" E2r.vii.24. «0 Z,.I7. 21 ^y. 12,14,21,25,26. 


his arrival in Jerusalem twelve years afterwards, found the 
practice of usury existing among the Jews with gross oppres- 
sion of their brethren, 22 in direct defiance of the Levitical 
Law, 2^ which Ezra, with the ' Law of his God ' in his heart, 
and with these summary powers in his hand, must be supposed 
during all this time to have overlooked or permitted. 

This Book also professes to quote the very words of the 
Edict of Cyrus which allowed the Jews to return to their own 
land.^^ But, after the example which we have just had of the 
writer's practice of using his imagination freely in writing 
history, we shall have no difficulty in concluding that this 
Edict of Cyrus is just as fictitious as the Edict of Artaxerxes. 
It makes, for instance, the Persian king speak of Jehovah by 
name not only as ' the God of Israel,' but as the ' God of 
Heaven,' and say 'Jehovah He is the God/ 'JEHOVAH He 
hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth,' ^^ as if he had 
actually himself adopted the faith of the Jews. It is plain 
that the writer has merely given in his own words the sub- 
stance of some such a decree as he supposes Cyrus to have 
issued on this occasion. But a portion of this decree is also 
given at the end of the Second Book of Chronicles ; and a 
close examination of the Books of Ezra and Nehemiah shows 
that almost all of the Book of Ezra and half of the Book of 
Nehemiah are the work of the Chronicler himself,^^ who wrote 
between one and two hundred years after the events which he 
here describes, or later still, and gives a thoroughly untrust- 
worthy account of those events, inserting fictitious decrees,^^ 
letters,^^ prayers,^^ and speeches,^** and colouring everything 
from a Levitical point of view.^' 

22 Neh.V.I-13. 23 L.XXV. 35-37. 24 Ezr.i.2-4. 25 ^_2,3. 

26 See Part VH of my work on the Pentateuch for proof of this. 
^'^ Ezr.i.2-4,vi.3-5,6-i2. 28 Ezr.v.7-i7,vii. 12-26. 

29 Ezr.ix.6-15, Neh.ix.5-38. 30 Ezr.ix.i,2,x.2-4,io-i4. 

3' Ezr.i.5,ii.36-6o,6i-63,7o,iii.2-6,8-i3,vi. 16-20, vii. 1-7, viii. 2, 15-20,24-30 
33-35, Neh.vii.39 62,63-65,73,viii.x.28-39,xi,xii,xiii.5b,9a,io-i3,22a,29-3ia. 

Y 2 


In one place, however, he really does quote what appears 
to be a genuine rescript of Artaxerxes, in reply to a repre- 
sentation made to him that the Jews were fortifying their 
city.^^ * Be it known unto the king that the Jews which came 
up from thee to us are come unto Jerusalem, building \i.e. 
fortifying] that rebellious and bad city, and have set up its 
walls and joined the foundations. Be it known now unto the 
king that, if this city be builded, and the walls set up again, 
then will they not pay toll, tribute, and custom, and so thou 
shalt endanger the revenue of the kings.' And the king 
repHes, * Make a decree to cause these men to cease, and that 
this city be not builded, until commandment shall be given 
from me.'^^ No allusion is here made to the building of the 
Temple being stopped ; nor was it likely that their conquerors 
should trouble themselves to interfere with that work. More- 
over, Artaxerxes began to reign (B.C. 465) about seventy 
years after the return of the Jews from the Captivity (B.C. 536), 
and fifty years after the Temple was actually finished in the 
time of the prophets Haggai and Zechariah^* (B.C. 515). 
Yet here the writer represents the ' adversaries of Judah and 
Benjamin ' as conspiring to hinder the building of the Temple, 
and as succeeding in doing so by means of this very rescript 
of Artaxerxes,^^ written fifty years after the Temple was 
completed in the sixth year of Darius,^^ whom he actually 
supposes to have reigned after Artaxerxes,^^ instead of half a 
century before him ! The prophet Haggai, however, says 
not a word about any such opposition on the part of the Jews' 
enemies to the building of the Temple, but ascribes the 
delay which had occurred wholly to the negligence, indifference, 
and luxury of the Jews themselves. 'This people says, The 
time is not come, the time when Jehovah'S House should be 
built. ... Is it a time for you, O ye, to dwell in your ceiled 

"2 Ezr.iv.ii-i6. 33 ^. i7_22. 3* Hag.ii.6-9, Zech.vii. 1-3. 

'^ Ezr.iv. 1-6,23,24. 3" 15. " Ezr.iv.23,24. 


houses, and this House lying waste ? ... Ye looked for 
much, but lo ! it came to little ; and, when ye brought it 
home, I did blow upon it. Why } said Jehovah of Hosts. 
Because of Mine House that is waste, and ye run every man 
to his own house.' ^® The Chronicler must have had this 
prophecy before him when he wrote. But he was unwilling 
to allow that any delay — much more a delay of twenty 
years — had been caused by the lazy self-indulgence of the 
Jews themselves, and even while Zerubbabel and Joshua the 
chief-priest, who had led them from Babylon to Jerusalem, 
were still living.^^ So in the very teeth of Haggai's reproach 
he invents a series of vexatious hindrances from the enemies 
of Judah, suggested very probably by the opposition which 
was really made, more than half a century afterwards, in the 
days of Nehemiah, to the building of the ivall}^ For this 
purpose he uses these genuine letters to and from the king, 
which, however, speak only of * the Jews who had come up 
from Artaxerxes' setting to work to 'build the rebellious 
and bad city, having completed the walls and joined the 
foundations,' ''^ perhaps referring to Ezra and his party, who 
may have made some attempt, before Nehemiah's arrival, to 
fortify Jerusalem, so far as to ' complete ' the walls, that is, 
lay the foundations all round — letters which he had obtained 
from some quarter or other, but of which he apparently wholly 
mistook the meaning. 

Once more, in support of this fiction he has introduced 
another letter, purporting to have been sent to Darius the 
king by the Governor of the province to which Judaea 
belonged, acting in concert with certain Samaritans,''^ in which 
he reports the progress made in the building of the Temple, 
and states that the Jews appealed in support of their pro- 
ceedings to a decree of Cyrus, which expressly ordered that 

38 Hag.i. 2-4,9. " ''-^j comp. Ezr.iii.2. ^" Neh.i.3,ii.8, 13-15, i7-20,iii,iv. 
*' Ezi.iv. 12. *2 Ezr.v.3-17, comp. iv.9,10. 


stones and timber should be supplied for the building and the 
expenses paid out of the revenues of the province, and sug- 
gests that this decree would probably be found in the king's 
treasury. Accordingly Darius, we are told, ordered a search 
to be made for the record in question, which was duly found,''^ 
and thereupon, in the second year of his reign, he issued a 
decree, which the writer here professes to quote at length, 
authorizing the completion of the Temple.^"* 

But this letter and decree are evidently fictitious like the 
others ; though in imitation of the genuine letters to and from 
Artaxerxes, they are written in the Chaldee dialect, which 
differs from Hebrew much in the same sort of way that broad 
Scotch-English differs from common English. Would the 
Governor of the province have been ignorant that such a 
decree had been issued some sixteen years previously .'' O 
if he was, were there no royal counsellors alive who would 
have been aware of so notorious a fact which had so recently 
occurred, and would know that a large body of Jews had re- 
turned to Jerusalem in consequence, with free permission to 
rebuild their Temple "i Was it necessary for the Governor to 
ask the king to have a search made for it among the archives 
of the Empire, as if it were some venerable charter issued in 
days of old beyond the memory of statesmen then living, 
when Zerubbabcl had only to exhibit to all gainsayers the 30 
golden chargers and 1,000 silver chargers or the ' 5,400 vessels 
of gold and silver ' altogether,''^ which, we are told, Cyrus re- 
stored to him out of the spoils of the First Temple, as the 
best possible proof of his having sanctioned their undertaking.-* 
Or had Zerubbabel himself no copy of that decree, and during 
all this time had he never once appealed to it, to obtain from 
the Governor the help which he needed } How strange, too, 
that Haggai, who prophesied in this very same second year 

«' *' v.6-12. « Ezr.i.9-11. 


of Darius/^ makes no allusion whatever to the cheering cir- 
cumstances under which the work would now go forward ! 
Or, if we turn to the decree itself, as here quoted, can it be 
thought that Cyrus would have actually defined the very mode 
in which the Temple should be built, 'with three rows of great 
stones and a row of new timber/''^ and have specified its exact 
dimensions, * 60 cubits high and 60 cubits broad,' ^^ that is, 
tii'icc as high and thrice as ivide as the Temple of Solomon ! ^"^ 
Nothing is said about the length of it ; but, supposing this to 
have been omitted by some careless copyist, and to have been 
in proportion to the height and breadth, would there then 
have been any ground for Haggai's saying, ' Who is left 
among you that saw this House in its former glory ? and how 
do ye see it now ? Is it not in your eyes as nothing in com- 
parison of it ? ' ^^ Or, again, is it credible that Darius would 
utter a prayer in this decree that ' the GoD who had caused 
His Name to dwell there ' — where we recognise a well-known 
phrase of Deuteronomy ^^ — 'would destroy all kings and 
peoples who should put their hand to alter and to destroy this 
House of God which is at Jerusalem ?* ^^ 

From all this it is plain that no dependence can be placed 
on any statements of the Chronicler contained in these Books, 
unless they are supported by other evidence — for instance, as 
to the details of the return from the Captivity,^^ the numbers 
and names of those who returned,'^^ the building of the Temple 
and the ceremonies observed at its founding and dedication,^^ 
or the account of Ezra's journey from Babylon to Jerusalem,^^ 
eighty years after the return of Zerubbabel, with splendid 
presents for the Temple from * the king and his counsellors 
and his lords and all Israel,' ^^ and his proceedings on his 

« Na^^.i.i. 


«« v.Z. 


«• Hag.ii.3. 

*' D. xii. I i,xiv.23,xvi.2,6, i i,xxvi.2, 

" E/ 

" Ezr.i. 

*• E/.r.ii. 

w tzr.iii. 

»« Ezr.vii.6- 



" Ezr. vii. 15,16, viii. 24-30,33,34. 


arrival at Jerusalem, his mourning for the sin of those who 
had married heathen women,^^ his prayer and confession and 
exhortation,^^ and the effect which these had upon the 
people,^^ so that more than a hundred mentioned by name, 
who * had taken strange wives, by some of whom they had 
children,' ' gave their hands that they would put away their 
wives, and being guilty offered a lamb of the flock for their 
trespass.' The whole of this rests on the Chronicler's testi- 
mony, and, from what we now know of his character as a 
historian, not a statement of his can be regarded as worthy 
of credence, unless it seems probable in itself or derives 
support from other independent sources. The very lists of 
names, which seem at first sight to guarantee the accuracy of 
his information and the truthfulness of his narrative, are found 
on examination to betray frequently the same unhistorical 
character which everywhere pervades the writings due to his 

The first six chapters, however, of the Book of Nehemiah, 
the first few verses of the seventh, and most of the last 
chapter,^^ appear to be genuine extracts from some memoir of 
Nehemiah's doings written by his own hand, which, together 
with the genuine letter of Artaxerxes and the king's reply,^^ 
perhaps preserved also by Nehemiah, had come into the 
Chronicler's possession. But he has filled up the rest of this 
Book, as well as the whole Book of Ezra, with fictions com- 
posed in his own peculiar style, specially dignifying the 
priests and Levites. He tells us, for instance, how Ezra read 
the Book of the Law in the ears of the people * on the first 
day of the month,' ^^ and how they kept a solemn feast that 
day,^^ and the next day found ' written in the Law ' the 
proper mode of keeping the Feast of Tabernacles,^^ which 

" Ezr.ix,i-4 ^^ Ezr.ix.5-i5,x. i-ii. "o Ezr.x. 12-44. 

«' See part VII for full proof of this. 

«2 Neh.vii.ia,2-5a,xiii.4-5a,6-8,9b, 14-21, 22b-28,3ib. «3 Ezr.iv.7 22. 

"♦ Neh.viii. 1-8 "57.9-12. •*•* ?.M3-l8, 


they accordingly observed duly for the first time in the his- 
tory of Israel • since the days of Joshua the son of Nun unto 
that day,' " After this he informs us how the Levites in a 
long supplication confessed God's Goodness and the people's 
sin,^^ and thereupon the people sealed a covenant that hence- 
forth they would keep faithfully the Law of Moses,^^ and 
especially that they would maintain the sacrificial system as 
prescribed in the Later Legislation, and pay scrupulously the 
dues of the priests and Levites.^^ And then he gives long 
lists of names of priests and Levites,'^' which have probably 
no historical value whatever, except perhaps that of indicating 
the principal families existing in the writer's own time ; and 
he goes on to describe, as if from the pen of Nehemiah,^^ the 
dedication of the walls,^^ along which two troops of choristers 
marched, setting out from one spot in opposite directions, 
Ezra heading his company of Levites, but Nehemiah fol- 
lowing in the rear of his choir/'* After all these accounts, 
however, of the activity and prominence of Ezra in the days 
of Nehemiah, it is somewhat remarkable that Nehemiah 
himself in his genuine memoirs does not even once mention 
his name. Still, as I have said,^^ the Jewish tradition seems 
to imply that there must have been some priest, named 
Ezra, after the Captivity, who took an active part in editing 
and publishing the Law of Moses, now increased with the 
Levitical Legislation, partly written by other priests in 
Babylonia, and partly perhaps by his own hand. More 
than this cannot be said with any confidence about Ezra's 

No doubt, it must at first sight seem somewhat extravagant 
to suppose that any nation would accept a vast system of 
minute legislative enactments as the regulations which had 

" Neh.viii.17. 

«« Neh.ix.4-38. 

«9 Neh.x.i_3i 

'" z/. 32-39. 



" z^.31, 38,40. 

" Neh.xii. 27-43. 

'' ^'.36,38. 

" P.313. 


been observed by their ancestors for ages, when in fact the 
details were mostly of modern introduction. Yet, as we have 
seen, it is the Jewish tradition that something very like this 
did actually take place after the return from the Babylonish 
Captivity, so that Ezra, in fact, appears in the Talmud as the 
very counterpart of Moses. What can have given rise to such 
a tradition but the knowledge of the fact that before this time 
the ' Law of Moses,' as we now possess it, was really unknown, 
that there were no copies which could be traced further back 
than that period, when, as all had to be organised anew 
among those who had grown up for two generations in a 
strange land, an opportunity occurred for introducing new 
rules under the garb of antiquity, such as has hardly occurred 
in the history of any other nation } "^^ Among the returning 
exiles, if we can trust the statements in these Books, there 
was, as I have said,^^ one priest for ten laymen, and these last, 
most probably, more or less under priestly influence. As the 
result of this enormous preponderance of the priestly element, 
the reviving nation was easily taught to guard itself against 
unfaithfulness to its God in future by putting on the heavy 
clothing of a vast system of ecclesiastical observances, per- 
vading the whole fabric of their lives. From this, thank God ! 
the teaching of Christ has set us free. Nor will we now suffer 
ourselves and our children to be entangled again under the 
yoke of bondage, and make the due performance of rites and 
ceremonies, or the profession of an orthodox creed, of more 
consequence than that Divine Charity in which the life of the 
soul consists, and those fruits of the Spirit, * love, joy, peace, 
longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, tempe- 
rance, against which there is no Law.'^® 

'" spectator, May 4, 1872, p.570. " P-257. " Gal.v.22,23. 



The Books of Chronicles fallacious and misleading ; they have been the 
chief stay of the popular notion as to the Mosaic origin of the priestly 
legislation of the Pentateuch ; in the older Lectionary no portion of these 
Books was ordered to be read, though much from the Apocrypha ; Amos, 
Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, show plainly that this Legislation did not in their 
time exist in the story of the Exodus ; meaning of the phrase * Law of 
Jehovah,' as used by these prophets ; they refer to incidents of the O. S., 
but nowhere to the L. L. ; even the later prophets speak of the priests as 
' sons of Levi, ' never as ' sons of Aaron ' ; the latter phrase is used habitually 
by the Chronicler, who also distinguishes the priests and the Levites, as in 
the L, L. ; instances of his modifying the older history about the reign of 
David, to glorify the priests and Levites ; special reason for his fiction about 
the Mosaic Tabernacle and Brazen Altar having been set up at Gibeon ; he 
has left out whatever might be a reproach to David and Solomon, and has 
altered, in copying, the statements of Samuel and Kings, so as to represent 
the L. L. as in full force all along ; his fictitious account of David's numbering 
the Levites, of his dividing the priests and choristers into courses and 
appointing the Levites to important offices, of his gifts to the Temple and his 
prayer of thanksgiving ; the Chronicler's fictions in the history of the subse- 
quent kings from Solomon downvs'^ards ; he was probably a Levite chorister, 
writing long after the Captivity ; some few of his notices, not found in 
Samuel and Kings, may have historical value, but as a whole his original 
statements are utterly untrustworthy ; the grave nature of the Chronicler's 
conduct in deliberately falsifying the facts of history as known to himself; he 
has only followed the example of the priestly writers of the Pentateuch. 


'ITHERTO I have made no use in these Lectures 
of the two Books of Chronicles, that is to say, I 
have never once appealed to them in support of 
my statements. The reason of this is obvious after 
what we have seen in the last Lecture of the Chronicler's mode 
of writing history in the Books of Ezra and Nehemiah. For in 
these Books he has not hesitated to insert letters and decrees 
which are thoroughly fictitious ; and, generally, his accounts, 
when unsupported by other evidence, are worthless as history. 
The two Books of Chronicles exhibit the same fallacious 
and misleading character. They go over the same ground 
as that traversed by the Books of Samuel and Kings, 
though the writer confines himself chiefly to matters 
affecting the kingdom of Judah ; and he not only had 
those older Books before him when he wrote, but he has 
very frequently copied their language word for word. 
And yet he has continually altered their statements or made 
his own additions to them, and usually in such a way as to 
magnify the office of the priests and Lcvites, and to repre- 
sent the Levitical Law as in full force from the first, and 
the priestly ordinances as punctually obeyed. 

This is a matter of grave importance, because it is really 


the Chronicler who by these perversions of the fact has led 
men all along to suppose that these prescriptions were 
really ancient and even of Mosaic origin, instead of being 
the product of a very late age. In the older Lectionary 
of the Church of England not a single chapter was selected 
for public reading, whether on Sundays and on holidays, 
or in the common daily service, out of these two Books, 
though so much was given from Esther and Ecclesiastes, 
and even from the apocryphal books of Tobit, Judith, 
Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, and Baruch— nay, Bel and the 
Dragon, and the story of Susannah. This cannot have 
irisen from any lack of interesting matter in the Books of 
Chronicles ; on the contrary, the writer's style is of a very 
decidedly religious and practical character, well suited, 
as many would think, for the work of edifying. Accordingly 
in the New Lectionary several chapters of the First Book are 
appointed for Sunday Lessons, while others in the Second 
Book appear in the columns for daily use. It is possible that 
the framers of the older Lectionary were aware of the con- 
tradictions between the statements of the Chronicles and those 
of the Books of Samuel and Kings, and thought it not good 
to bring these differences into view before an ordinary con- 
gregation.^ However this may be, the fact is that in the 
Books of Chronicles the priests and the Levites, carefully dis- 
tinguished from each other, fill the foreground of the picture 
on various occasions, of which no example can be found in 
the older histories, as also that the sacrificial system, as laid 
down in the Levitical Law, is exhibited everywhere in full 

' e. g. comp. iCh.x.i-i2 with iS.xxxi. 1-13— xi. 1-9 with 2S.V. 1-3, 6-10— 
z/. 1 0-4 1 a with 2S.xxiii.8-39 — xiii.6-14 with 2, 3,5-11 — xiv,i-i6 with 2S. 
V. 11-25 — xvii,xviii,xix, with 2S.vii,viii,x — xx with 2S.xi. i,xii.30, 31, xxi. 18-22 — 
xxi. 1-27 with 2S.xxiv. 1-4,9-25 — 2Ch.i.7-i2 with iK-iii-S-H—^y. 14-17 with 
iK.x.26-29 — iv.2-5 with iK.vii.23-26 — z/. 11-22 with iK.vii.40-50 — vii. 11-22 
with iK.ix. 1-9— viii with iK.ix. 10, 17-28, &c,, &c. ; but see the full proof of the 
statements made above in Part VII. 


operation, of which no trace appears in the older prophets 
down to the Captivity. 

Amos, for instance, is so far from blaming his people for 
disregard of the Levitical Law that he asks 'Was it 
sacrifices and offerings that ye brought near to me in the 
wilderness forty years, O House of Israel?'^ — that is, 'Was 
that what I required of you then, that you think to pacify 
me now with such things ? ' — as if he knew nothing of any 
such Law, in which multitudinous sacrifices are said to 
have been enjoined in the wilderness. Isaiah says, ' I am 
full of the burnt-offerings of rams and the fat of fed beasts ; 
and I delight not in the blood of bullocks or of lambs or of 
he-goats. When ye come to appear before Me, who hath 
required this at your hands that ye may tread My courts V^ — 
whereas in the Levitical Law these very things were expressly 
required of any who VvOuld ' tread the courts of JEHOVAH.* 
Jeremiah says, ' I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded 
them, in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, 
concerning burnt-offerings and sacrifices ; but this thing I 
commanded them saying, Obey My voice, and I will be your 
God and ye shall be my people.''' But in the Levitical Law 
Jehovah does speak especially about ' burnt-offerings and 
sacrifices ; ' and such words could not have been written if the 
sacrificial laws of Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers had either 
been actually prescribed in the wilderness, or had existed in 
Jeremiah's time in the story of the Exodus. Nor would 
Ezekiel have laid down his laws for the regulation of the 
priesthood, their offfce and income,"^ if these subjects had been 
fully treated of in the middle Books of the Pentateuch, or 
prescribed sacrifices at variance with those already prescribed 
in books regarded as Mosaic and Divine.^ In short, the whole 

2 Am.v.25. ^ Is.i.ll,i2. 

♦ Jer.vii.22,23. * Ez.xliii,i8-27,xliv.4-3I. 

® In Ez.xlv, comp. v.22,,2^ with N.xxviii. 19-22, z'. 25 with N.xxix. 13-38 ; in 
Ez.xlvi, comJ>. z/. 4 with N.xxviii.9,z/.6 with N.xxviii. ii,t'.7 with N.xxviii. 12-14, 
2'. 13 with E.xxix. 38-40, N.xxviii. 3-5 


tone of the prophets differed utterly from that of the priestly 
mind, to which we owe the system of ritual enjoined in the 
Later Legislation ; and, accordingly, they repeatedly dis- 
parage, even contemptuously, the offering of sacrifices in com- 
parison with moral rectitude and goodness.'^ 

It is true, the expression * Law of Jehovah ' often occurs 
in ordinary translations of prophetical books.^ But the 
Hebrew word for ' Law ' means properly ' instruction, 
teaching,* and is used by the prophets to denote the 
teaching of themselves and their predecessors, which they 
called the 'teaching of Jehovah,' because Jehovah, as 
they believed, had put it into their hearts for the instruc- 
tion of their brethren ; as where, for instance, Isaiah says, 
' This is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will 
not hear the instruction of JEHOVAH, who say to the seers. 
See not, and to the prophets. Prophesy not unto us right 
things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits.'^ And 
so, too, it is used for the ' instruction ' which the priests, both 
before and after the Captivity, gave to pious enquirers, with 
reference to sacrifices of all kinds, vows, leprosy, &c. ^° 

Again the prophets before the Captivity refer often to 
incidents which are mentioned in the Original Story of the 
Pentateuch.^^ But not one of them makes the least allusion 
to any part of the Levitical Law ; they never once mention 
the name of Aaron as priest, and know nothing of the 
distinction between priests and Levites ; though Ezekiel, 
as I have said,^^ shows a close connexion with the oldest 
portions of this Legislation, and after the Captivity Haggai 

' Is.i. 11-14,16, 17,,Am.v. 14, 15,21-23, 

* e.g. Is.i. io,ii.3,v.24,viii. i6,20,xxx.9, Hos.iv,6,viii. i, Am.ii.4, Mic.iv.2. 

® Is. XXX. 9-1 1. 

'<• Ez.xxii.26, Zeph.iii.4, Hag.ii. 11-13, Mai. ii. 7,9, co7np. D.xxiv.8. 

" Am.ii.9,io,iii. i,2,iv. ii,v.25,26,vii.9, Hos.ii. 14, I5,ix. io,xi. i,8,xii.3,4,5,9, 

12, I3,xiii.4,5, Is.i.9,io,iii.9,x.24,26,xi. i6,xii.2,5,,5,vii. 15, Nah.i.3, 

Zeph.ii.9. »2 p. 192 


apparently makes a distinct reference to it.^^ Towards the 
end of the Captivity the Later Isaiah says that all Israelites 
shall be called 'priests of JEHOVAH,' 'ministers of our 
God,' ^^ and that out of them — the Israelites generally — 
' Jehovah will take for priests, for Levites.' ^^ Haggai and 
Zechariah, writing soon after the return from the Captivity, 
throw no light upon this question. But Malachi, probably 
a contemporary of Nehemiah, speaks of the ' sons of 
Levi ' as priests, who shall be ' purged as gold and silver,' 
that they may ' bring-near to JEHOVAH an offering in 
righteousness ' ; ^^ and he refers to their having ' corrupted 
the Covenant of Levi,'^^ under which the whole tribe was 
appointed to act as priests for their brethren. ^^ Nehemiah, 
however, in his genuine memoir,^^ speaks of the Levites, 
and also of the Nethinim,^^ as building their portion of 
the wall apart from the priests.^^ In his time, therefore, 
the distinction, it seems, was recognized ; though Malachi, 
his contemporary, still speaks of the priests by the older 
designation 'the sons of Levi,'^^ instead of using the 
newly-coined phrase ' the sons of Aaron.' 

We have already seen that in the Books of Samuel and 
Kings — except in one verse which is manifestly a later 
interpolation^^ — there is no trace of any distinction being 
made as yet between the priests and Levites, and that 
there is much, as in the account of Eli's time,^'* w^iich is 
irreconcileable with the notion of the very existence of the 
Levitical Legislation. It is very different when we turn to 
the Books of Chronicles. Here constantly, as in the Books 
of Ezra and Nehemiah — about ninety times altogether — 
we find, exactly as in the Levitical Legislation, a strong 

'* Hag.ii. 11-13. '^ Is.lxi.6. »* Is.lxvi.2i. 

»" Mal.iii.3. " Mal.ii.8. '» p. 238. 

'^ p. 328. *" Neh.iii. 17,22,26,28. 21 77.1^22,28, 

" Mal.iii.3. " iK.viii.4, fieep.252. 24 p.248. 



line of demarcation drawn between the priests and the 
Levites, as forming two distinct orders of clergy, as also 
between both orders and the laity. Thus after Saul's death 
there come to David, among other supporters, 4,600 Levites 
and 3,700 'sons of Aaron,' ^.^ a designation which never 
once appears in the earlier historical books or in any of 
the prophetical writings. And yet, notwithstanding all this 
troop of priests and Levites, when a few years afterwards 
David undertakes to bring up the ark to Mount Zion, he 
employs only laymen for the work, and on that account 
solely, according to the Chronicler, the driver Uzza met 
with the accident which caused his death. It was only, he 
tells us, after the lesson taught by this sad event that 
David said, ' None ought to carry the ark of God but the 
Levites ';^^ and so he summons them to bring up the ark 
on the second occasion saying, * Ye are the heads of the 
fathers of the Levites ; sanctify yourselves, ye and your 
brethren, that ye may bring up the ark of Jehovah the 
God of Israel to where I have prepared for it ; for because 
ye did not at the first, JEHOVAH our God made a breach upon 
us, because we sought Him not after the due order. So 
the priests and the Levites sanctified themselves to bring 
up the ark of Jehovah the God of Israel. And the sons 
of the Levites bare the ark of God upon their shoulders 
with the staves thereon, as Moses commanded according 
to the word of JEHOVAH.'^^ Did, then, not one of the 
3,700 priests and 4,600 Levites lift up his voice to warn 
the king against the profanity of his first attempt } And 
how was it that out of this large body, after such awful 
warning and the special summons of the king, only two 
priests and 862 Levites appear to have attended on the 
second occasion .^^^ 

" iCh.xii.26,27. 2« iCh.xv.2. " ^ i2_i5. 2" Z/.4-II. 


So, whereas the Book of Samuel tells us that * David and 
all the House of Israel brought up the ark of Jehovah with 
shouting and with trumpet-sounds,' ^^ the Chronicler informs 
us that ' David spake to the chief of the Levites to appoint 
their brethren to be the choristers with instruments of music, 
psalteries, and harps, and cymbals, sounding by lifting up the 
voice with joy,' ^° while seven priests ' did blow with the trum- 
pets before the ark.' ^^ And, instead of the statement in the 
older narrative, ' And David danced before Jehovah with all 
his might, and David was girded with a linen ephod,' ^^ the 
Chronicler writes, * And David was clothed with a robe of fine 
linen, and all the Levites that bare the ark and the choristers, 
and Chenaniah the song-master with the choristers, and David 
had upon him a hnen ephod.' ^^ In short, the story is turned 
into a glorification of these surpHced Levites ; and the fact, 
that he gives the very names of the chief Levites and a 
number of others,^'' only shows more clearly the boldness of 
his genius ; for names and numbers, as well as other details 
of the narrative as transformed by his hand, are all equally 

Then he goes on to tell us how David set up a body of 
Levite choristers with Asaph at their head, playing with 
psalteries and harps and cymbals and trumpets, * before the 
ark of the covenant of God ' at Jerusalem,^^ and stationed at 
the same time Zadok and his brethren the priests, with Heman 
and Jeduthun and another troop of Levite choristers and 
gatekeepers, before the Mosaic Tabernacle in the high-place 
at Gibeon, to offer the Daily Sacrifice morning and evening 
'according to all that is written in the Law of JEHOVAH 
which He commanded Israel.' ^^ This fiction, however, of the 
Tabernacle with its Brazen Altar having been set up at 

29 "o iCh.xv.i6. 31 ^,24. 32 

" iCh.xv.27. 5^ :/. 5-1 1, 1 7-24. " For the full proof of this see Part VH. 
" iCh.xvi.4-6,37. ^' t'. 38-42. 

z 2 


Gibeon,^* has been introduced with the idea of accounting for 
the fact of Solomon's having sacrificed on that high-place,^^ 
contrary to the prescriptions of the Levitical Law, which re- 
quired all sacrifices to be brought to the entrance of the 
Tabernacle, and the blood to be sprinkled upon the Brazen 
Altar in front of it,'*^ and even contrary to the law in Deute- 
ronomy, which confined all sacrifices to 'the place which 
Jehovah would choose."'^ It is everywhere the same: while 
he carefully suppresses the account of David's adultery, 
treachery, and detestable act of murder, '^^ and of Solomon's 
bloody king-craft, polygamy, and gross idolatry ^^ — suppresses, 
in short, whatever could reflect reproach upon the founder 
and builder of the Temple — he has deliberately falsified the 
history of these kings and of the other kings throughout, so as 
to represent the ordinances of the Levitical Law as in full 
operation, and the Levites especially as in great request, from 
David's time downwards, in the very teeth of the more 
authentic narrative of the Books of Samuel and Kings, while 
yet in the main carefully following the statements, and often 
copying the identical words, of that narrative. 

Thus in his old age David, he tells us, numbered the Levites 
* from thirty years old and upwards,' '^^ just exactly the age in 
the Book of Numbers,''-^ though a later insertion in that Book 
reduces it to twenty-five years,"^ and the Chronicler makes 
David by * his last words ' reduce it to twenty years.'*^ He 
finds 38,000 of them, and of these 24,000 w^ere to oversee the 
Temple, 6,000 to be officers and judges, 4,000 to be choristers, 
and 4,000 to be gatekeepers,''^ — though in Zedekiah's un- 
happy time, it seems, there were only three gatekeepers/^ 
He divides the priests into courses, sixteen of the house of 

»« 2Ch.i.3,5,6,i3. 

8® iK.iii.4. 

" L.xvii.3-6. 

*• D.xii.5,6,11,13,14. 

" 2S.xi, 1-27. 

" iK.ii.23-34,xi. I 10. 

** iCh.xxiii. 3. 

« N.iv.47. 

<® N.viii.24. 

*' lCh.xxiii.24-27. 

" ^.3-5. 

« 2K.xxiv.l8. 


Eleazar and eight of that of Ithamar,'^" these two being named 
as ' sons of Aaron ' in the Levitical Legislation. '"'^ He divides 
also into courses the choristers ^^ and the gatekeepers.''^ But 
especially he sends out Levites everywhere in special positions 
of great authority — the sons of Izhar * for the outward business 
over Israel as officers and judges,' the sons of Hebron, 1,700 
of them, as officers west of the Jordan and 2,700 as rulers east 
of the Jordan ' for all matters pertaining to God and affairs 
of the king ' ^^ — of all which there is not a trace in the older 

Again he tells us how David before his death gave to Solo- 
mon a prodigious amount of gold and silver for the Temple, 
viz. three thousand talents of gold (iJ" 15,000,000) and 
seven thousand talents of silver (;^2,47 1,000), all *of his own 
proper good,' besides what he had already 'prepared for 
the holy house,' viz. a hundred thousand talents of gold 
(^500,000.000) and a million talents of silver (i^3 5 3,000,000) ^^ 
and also 'patterns' for it and for its vessels, which Jehovah 
had ' made him understand in writing,' ^^ and how his great 
men followed his example by making splendid offerings, 
five thousand talents of gold (^25,000,000) and ten thousand 
talents of silver (^3,530,000),^^ and David uttered a prayer 
of thanksgiving.^^ But the language of this prayer is wholly 
the Chronicler's own, as the psalm of praise, which he repre- 
sents elsewhere as sung by David's order, is made up of pieces 
of later psalms.^^ 

But time would fail to recount the endless perversions of 
the older more authentic history which we find in the Chroni- 
cler's narrative — how, when David sacrificed on the site of the 
future Temple, Jeiiovah 'answered him from heaven by fire 

^0 1Ch.xxiv.i-4. *' L.x.6,i2,i6. " 1Ch.xxv.53. 

" 1Ch.xxvi.1-12. " 2^.29,30. " iCh.ix.3,4,xxii. 14. 

*^ iCh.xxviii. 11-13, 19. *' iCh.xxix.6-9. *^Z'.io-25. 

*** iCh.xvi.8-22, made up vvilli sonic bhjjht alterations from i-i5,\cvi,cvii. 


upon the altar of burnt-offering,' and again at Solomon's 
Dedication of the Temple, ' fire came down from heaven and 
consumed the burnt-offering and the sacrifices, and the glory 
of Jehovah filled the House,' ^° — how Solomon appointed 
the priests and Levites to their charges, * for so was the com- 
mandment of David the man of God,' ^^ — how Abijah with 
400,000 met Jeroboam with 800,000, and slew 500,000 of 
them,^2 after making a long speech to the enemy in which he 
says, * Have ye not cast out the priests, the sons of Aaron ? 
. . . But as for us, JEHOVAH is our God and we have not for- 
saken Him, and the priests which minister unto Jehovah are 
the sons of Aaron, and the Levites wait upon their business,' *^^ 
— how Jehoshaphat sent princes and Levites and priests, all 
named, to teach the Book of the Law in the cities of Judah,'^'' 
and had a standing army of 1,160,000 soldiers, who 'waited 
on the king, besides those whom the king put in the fortresses 
throughout all Judea,' ^^ and set Levites and priests as judges 
in Jerusalem,^^ — how Moab and Ammon and Edom came 
against Jehoshaphat,^^ and, as soon as the Levites began to 
sing and praise before his army, the Ammonites and Moabitcs 
fell upon the Edomites, and, 'when they had made an end of 
them, they helped to destroy one another. . . . And Judah 
looked unto the multitude, and lo ! they were dead bodies 
fallen to the earth, and none escaped ' ^^ — how Jehoshaphat 
made ships on the Red Sea to go to Tarshish in Spain,^^ where 
the Chronicler has made a curious mistake in copying the 
older writer, who only says that he made ' ships of Tarshish ' "^^ 
— that is, large merchant-ships, such as went the long voyage 
to Tarshish, as we should say ' Indiamen ' — to go to Ophir, 

" iCh.xxi.26, 2Ch.vii. I, conip. L.ix.24. ^' 2Ch.viii. 14. 

" 2Ch.xii).3,7, ^'^ v.g. ^* 2Ch.xvii.7-9. 

" t/. 14-19. 66 2Ch.xix.8-ii. 

6' 2Ch.xx. I, where read 'some of the Meunim (Edomites),' instead of 'beside 
the Ammonites,' E.V. 

" J'. 22-28. 69 «^.36,37. '» iK.xxii,48. 


very possibly the coast-line of the African gold-fields — how a 
letter, which is given at full length, came to Joram from 
Elijah the prophet/' who had been translated to heaven at 
least seven years previously ^'-^ — how the zeal and courage of 
the priests and Levites, instead of the guards, as stated in 
the older history,^^ enabled Jehoiada to kill the wicked 
usurper Athaliah and restore the kingdom to the young prince 
Joash — how Joash levied the poll-tax which Moses laid upon 
Israel in the wilderness '^^ — how Joash and Amaziah fell into 
idolatry and on that account '^^ were killed by the hands of 
conspirators "^ — how king Uzziah wished to offer incense in 
the Temple, and the chief priest and eighty other priests 
withstood him and said, ' It is not for thee, Uzziah, to burn 
incense unto JEHOVAH, but for the priests the sons of Aaron : 
go out of the holy place, for thou hast trespassed,' and Uzziah 
was wroth, and this was the cause of his leprosy ^'^ — how Ahaz, 
because he was an idolatrous king, was attacked by Pekah 
king of Israel, who slew in one day 120,000 men of Judah, 
and led away captive 200,000 women and children, and abun- 
dance of spoil, but at the word of a prophet restored them all 
with the most fraternal tenderness ^^ — how Hezekiah, with the 
help of the priests and Levites, reformed religion in Judah,^^ 
and kept a great passover, a centur)- before Josiah's time,**^ 
and ordered the people to ' give the portion of the priests and 
Levites,' which they did faithfully, and the chief priest said, 
* Since they began to bring the offerings into the House of 
Jehovah, we have had enough to eat, and have left plenty' ^^ 
— how Manasseh for his sins was carried captive to Babylon, 
and there repented, and Jehovah brought him back to 
Jerusalem, and he cleared the Temple and the City of all 

" 2Ch.xxi.i2,i3, " p. 161. 

^3 2Ch.xxiii.2,4-8, comp. 2K.xi.4-16. '* 2Ch.xxiv.6,9. 

'* 2Ch.xxiv.2, i7-26,xxv.2,27,28. " 2K.xii.20,2i,xiv. 19. 

'" 2Ch.xxvi. 16-21, com/>. 2K.XV.5. " 2Ch.xxviii.5-15, 

" 2L'h.xxix. «" 2CI1.XXX. «' 2Ch.xxxi.2- 10. 


idolatrous Images and altars,^^ anticipating also Josiah's doings 
— how Josiah himself in the eighth year of his reign * began 
to seek JEHOVAH,' and in the twelfth year ' began to purge 
Judah and Jerusalem from the high-places and asheras and 
images,' ^^ while not a word is said by the Chronicler about 
the Great Reformation in the eighteenth year of his reign, 
which showed that all along, from the time of Solomon 
downwards, the grossest idolatries were practised in Judah,^* 
— except that he mentions the passover kept at this time, 
in which, of course, the priests and Levites are especially 

Here is a mass of fictions, which we owe to the mistaken 
zeal of this writer, probably himself a Levite chorister,^^ and 
waiting at the earliest 250" — perhaps 350 — years after the 
Captivity, and which have exercised a sort of glamour upon 
the eyes of a multitude of pious readers ever since, of the 
clergy as well as of the laity. Of course, the earlier his- 
torian, living before that dire catastrophe in which so many 
records of preceding times must have perished, must have 
had access to any documents from which, two or three cen- 
turies afterwards, the Chronicler might be thought to have 
derived additional details. And, if he mentions none of these 
things, nor even hints at the distinction between priests and 
Levites or the conspicuous part they played throughout the 
history, we may be sure that they were wholly unknown to 
him, and are the offspring of the Chronicler's own imagina- 
tion, reflecting the spirit of his later Levitical times. The 
genealogies in iCh.i. are taken from the Book of Genesis, as 

•- 2Ch.xxxii.ii-i9. 83 2Ch.xxxiv.3-7. 

" 2K.xxiii.1-25. ®* 2Ch.xxxv. 1-19. 

8" Observe the special interest which the writer shows in the Levite choristers,,xv. i6-24,27,28,xvi. 4-42,xxiii.5, XXV, 2Ch.v,i2, 13, vii.6,xx. 19,21,22, 
xxiii. 13, i8,xxix.22-28,30,xxx.2l,xxxi.2,xxxiv, I2,xxxv. 15. 

^' In Neh.xii. II the descent is given of Jaddua, high-priest (according to 
Josephus) in Alexander's time, B.C. 332 : but some (as Kuenen) set the 
Chronicler's age as low as B.C. 250. 


are some of those in ch.ii., and most of those in ch.iii. from 
the Books of Samuel and Kings. But, knowing what we 
now do of his character, we can place no reliance on any of his 
genealogical statements which are not supported by other 
authorities, as, for instance, on his line of chief priests from 
Aaron down to the Captivity.^® He is capable of inventing 
such genealogies, with a whole array of names and numbers, 
to any extent, when the occasion seems to call for them. 
Here and there experienced critics may detect a notice which 
seems to have the ring of historical fact about it,^^ and which 
he may have derived from some authentic source, like the 
letters to and from Artaxerxes in Ezr. iv.^° or the memoir ot 
Nehemiah.®^ But for ordinary readers, who wish to have a 
true conception of the course of Hebrew history, the Books oi 
Chronicles must be set aside altogether, as not only untrust- 
worthy, but utterly misleading. 

The time is past for glossing over such conduct as the 
Chronicler's with fair words, and ascribing to him only error 
or exaggeration, but no intentional departure from the truth. 
He has set himself down to reconstruct the history of his 
people as known to himself in the older records, and he has 
done this in the interest of the clerical body, to which in all 
probability he himself belonged. If the Chronicler, indeed, 
had been writing merely from tradition, it would not have 
been surprising that he should have stereotyped in this man- 
ner what might have been the genuine convictions of himself 
and of his age ; as the writers of the earlier portions of tlic 
Pentateuch, in trying to compose some accounts of the patri- 
archs, and the author of the Books of Kings, in embodying 
with more veracious narratives the legendary tales about 
Elijah ^2 and Elisha'-'^ or the return of the sun's shadow ten 

«« «" e.g. iCh.iv. 39-43. »o p.324,5- 

9' p.328. »2 2K.ii.1-12. 

'3 2K.ii. 14,21, 24,iii.i6-24,iv. 1-7, 16, 17,32-37,38-41, 42-44, v. 8-14,26,27, vi. 
5-7,S-i2,i3-i8,23,vii.i,6,7,i7-20,viii. 1,5,. \iii. 14-19,20,21, 


degrees upon the dial of Ahaz,*^-* have not violated the laws of 
historical good faith, taking into account the times in which 
they lived. But, w^hen we see the Chronicler with the older 
history before him, from which he is actually copying word for 
word, deliberately giving an entirely different representation 
of the whole course of events, with the purpose of leading his 
readers to believe that from the earliest times the Levitical 
Law was in full force in Judah, it is impossible, with a due 
regard to truth, to acquit him of the great crime of falsifying 
facts of history well known to him. 

But the Chronicler had before him the example of the 
Later Legislation of the Pentateuch, where priestly wTiters 
of an age not very far distant from his own, had entirely 
modified the known facts of their national history, ascribing 
to Jehovah laws which they themselves had laid down, often 
for their own aggrandisement ; and he resolved, it w^ould 
seem, to take upon himself the task of supplying historical 
support for these pretensions. When, however, w^e consider 
that for 2,000 years the whole course of Jewish history has 
been thrown into confusion mainly by the acts of these 
writers, and that Christianity itself owes much of its past 
and present corruptions and superstitions, — such as the idea of 
the priestly office and the popular notion of the Atonement, 
based upon the supposed Divine origin of the sacrificial laws 
in the Pentateuch — to the existence of these priestly and 
Levitical fictions, it is not easy to speak lightly of a fraud 
which has had such enormous and far-reaching evil con- 
sequences ; while we find here another warning — unhap- 
pily by no means unneeded in the present age — that 'lies 
spoken in the name of the Lord,' "^^ however well meant, 
can never work out the good of man or the righteousness of 

"* 2K. XX. 8-1 1. »* Zech.xiii.3. 



The Psalms, Proverbs, Canticles, Lamentations, Job, Esther, Ecclesiastes, 
contain no allusion to the L.L. ; the very late Book of Daniel refers to it ; the 
story of the discovery and destruction of the Moabite Stone ; the characters 
engraved upon it ; its contents ; signs of progress in writing in an early age, 
so that the O.S. may have been composed in the days of David and Solomon; 
the language shows the close affinity of the Moabites to the Hebrews ; Moab 
seems to have thrown off the yoke of Solomon at the same time with Edom 
and Syria ; ' forty years ' used in the Stone for an indefinite long period ; 
Chemosh, the Sun-God of Moab, fills the same place in this inscription as 
Yahveh, the Sun-God of Canaan, does in the Bible ; the worship of Che- 
mosh in substance identical with that of Yahveh, who is here recognised as 
the National Deity of the Ten Tribes ; the name Yahveh known to the 
Moabites, and therefore spoken by the Israelites of that age ; striking discre- 
pancy between the Hebrew and Moabite records about Mesha and his 
conflicts with Israel ; extravagance of the Hebrew story ; the two accounts 
have been reconciled by assuming that the one takes up the narrative where 
the other leaves it ; improbability of this supposition ; the Bible, with all its 
defects and faults, the mightiest instrument in the hands of the Divine 
Teacher for revealing to us His True Name. 


HE Book of Psalms contains compositions of all 
ages, from the time of David — possibly even 
Samuel — downwards, till that of the Maccabees,^ 
about B.C. 175, three centuries and a half after 
the return from Babylon. In some of these allusions are 
made to Aaron as Priest,^ to the distinction between the 
priests and the Levites,^ to the 'precious ointment that ran 
down upon the beard of Aaron and went down to the skirts 
of his garments,' ^ or to some other feature of the Levitical 
Legislation.^ But such allusions occur only in very late 
psalms written after the Captivity, as the most eminent 
scholars allow.^ The Book of Proverbs consists of seven 
Parts, of which the first five were written before the Captivity 
and the last two after it ; ^ but throughout we find no trace 
whatever of the Levitical Legislation. The Song of Solomon, 
a beautiful idyll, intended apparently to exhibit the supe- 
riority of pure wedded love, though in humble circumstances, 
to all considerations of mere earthly wealth and grandeur, 

' See Part VII for the proof of this. 
2 Ps.xcix.6(?),cvi. i6,cxv. 10, I2,cxviii.3,cxxxv. 19. 
3 Ps.cxxxv. 19,20. < Ps.cxxxiii.2, comp.,30. 

* Ps.lxxxi.3, comp. L.xxiii. 24,39,41. N.xxix. I ; Ps.xcv. lo, 1 1, comp. N.xiv.33, 
34; Ps.cvi.32,33, comp. N.XX.2-I2; Ps,cvi.29,30, comp. N.xxv.6-13. 


was probably written in the northern kingdom under the reign 
of Jeroboam II. (B.C. 800)/ but contains not the least aUusion 
to the Levitical Law. Then come in order of age the Lamen- 
tations, probably composed by Jeremiah, partly during the 
siege of Jerusalem, partly after it (B.C. 588-6) ^ — the Book of 
Job, written about a century afterwards or even later ^ — the 
Book of Esther, an extravagant romance, written about two 
centuries later still ^ — Ecclesiastes, about B.C. 200 ^ — in none 
of which is there any reference to the Levitical Law. Lastly, 
we have the Book of Daniel, written under the form of pro- 
phecies ascribed to Daniel, to support the faith and courage 
of the Jews under the oppressive measures of Antiochus 
Epiphanes (B.C. 165) ; ^ and in this we find some allusions 
to the priestly Law,® which was at that time in full force. If 
we add that in none of the older prophets before Jeremiah 
do we find any trace of acquaintance with the Book of 
Deuteronomy, it will be seen that we have here indirectly very 
strong additional support for the conclusions, that Deute- 
ronomy was written in the age and apparently by the hand 
of Jeremiah himself, and that the Levitical Legislation was 
begun by Ezekiel and completed by priests of that age and 
after it. 

Let us now consider what further light is thrown upon the 
subjects discussed in these Lectures by that most interesting 
relic of antiquity which has been lately found, the Moabite 
Stone. I will first give a brief account of its discovery,^ and 
then of its contents, and afterwards draw some inferences from 
them in connexion with these enquiries. 

In August, 1868, a German Missionary^ was in the land 
of Moab, which lies along the eastern side of the Dead Sea, 

^ Dan.ix.11,13, 'Law of Moses'— Dan.viii.ii-I3,xi.3i,xii.ii, ' continual sacri- 
fice,' ix.2i, ' evening oblation,' comp. E. xxix. 38-42, N.xxviii.3-8. 

^ The facts in this Lecture are mainly derived from Dr. Ginsburg's admirable 
work on the Moabite Stone, 2nd Ed.; to which G. refers in the notes below. 

* The Rev. F.Klein of the Church Missionary Society. v 


a countiy little visited by Europeans, and, when near 
Dibon, he was informed by an Arab Sheikh, his friend and 
protector, that hardly ten minutes off there was a black 
basalt stone inscribed with ancient characters. He found 
it lying among the ruins of Dibon, perfectly exposed and 
with its face uppermost, about 3//. \oin. high, 2ft. broad, 
and \^\in. thick, rounded at top and bottom, and containing 
thirty-four lines of inscription running across the Stone. 
The Missionary did not appreciate the immense importance 
of this discovery, and merely copied a few words from the 
Stone and compiled an alphabet ; though he took measures 
at once to secure it for the Berlin Museum, which, in 
consequence of the conflicting powers and repeated absences 
of the different Pachas concerned, proved a very tedious 
and intricate business. For nearly three thousand years 
that stone had lain exposed to all the elements uncared 
for : but now the Moabites found that it was very valuable, 
and worth, as they supposed, its weight in gold. A few 
weeks afterwards a man came purposely to inform the 
agent of the Palestine Exploration Society ^ of its existence : 
but he, knowing that the Prussian Consul was moving in 
the matter, would take no action about it. In the spring 
of 1869, however, he learnt with astonishment, as did also 
a member of the French Consulate at Jerusalem,^" that no 
copy or 'squeeze' of the inscription had been taken. In 
July, 1869, the former had to leave for the Lebanon ; but 
the latter, with indiscreet zeal, not only sent men to obtain 
squeezes, who quarrelled in the presence of the Arabs, but 
offered for the Stone the sum of ;^375, whereas £%o had 
been already promised by the Prussian authorities and 
had been at last agreed to by those who held it, after long 
and wearisome negotiations, the sum of ^1000 having been 

^ Capt. Warren. '° M. Clermont-Ganneau. 


asked for it at one time. But now the Governor of NabKls 
interposed and demanded this splendid prize for himself; 
and the Moabites, exasperated with this claim, in November, 
1869, * sooner than give it up, put a fire under it, and threw 
cold water on it, and so broke it, and then distributed 
the bits among the different families, to be placed in the 
granaries and act as blessings upon the corn ; for they 
said that without the Stone a blight would fall upon their 
crops.' ^^ Of these fragments twenty are now in the French 
savant's possession, containing in all 613 letters; while 
eighteen small pieces are held by the Palestine Exploration 
Society, containing 56 letters, making a total of 669 out 
of 1,100, which the entire Stone must have contained — 
that is to say, about two-thirds of the whole inscription. 
Most of the missing letters, however, have been recovered 
from the squeezes taken before and after the Stone was 
broken, so that only 35 words, 15 half-words, and 18 letters — 
less than one-seventh of the whole — remain to be supplied 
from conjecture, but are often clearly suggested by the 
context ; and it is just to say that the person, who has 
most successfully laboured at this restoration of the entire 
inscription, is the French archaeologist himself. 

This Stone records three series of events in the reign of 
Mesha king of Moab, who is mentioned in the Bible '^ as 
having rebelled against Israel after the death of Ahab, B.C. 
898, and who lived therefore about B.C. 900, only 75 yeais 
after Solomon's time, and may have erected this Stone about 
B.C. 890. The First Part of this Inscription runs as fol- 
lows : — 

* I Mesha am son of Chemosh-Gad king of Moab the 
Dibonite. My father reigned over Moab thirty years, and 
I reigned after my father. And I erected this Stone to 

" >2 2K.iii.4,5. 


Chemosh at Korcha, a Stone of 5<7lvation, for he saved me 
from all despoilers and made mc see my desire upon all 
my enemies, even Omri king of Israel. Now they afflicted 
Moab many days, for Chemosh was angry with his l^nd. 
His son succeeded him, and he also said, I will afflict 
Moab. In my days he said Let lis go and I will see my 
desire on him and his house, and Israel — I shall destroy it 
with an everlasting destruction. Now Omri took the land 
of Medeba, and the enemy occupied it in Jiis days and in 
the days of his son, forty years. And Chemosh had mercy 
on it in my days ; and I fortified Baal-Meon and made 
therein the tank, and I fortified Kiriathaim. For the men 
of Gad dwelt in the land of Ataroth from of old, and the 
kmg of /srael fortified for himself A/aroth, and I assaulted 
the wall and captured it, and killed all the vjdirriors of the 
wall for the well-pleasing of Chemosh and Moab ; and I 
removed from it all the spoil, and offered it before Chemosh 
in Kirjath ; and I placed therein the men of Siran (.? Sebam) 
and the vaen of Mochrath. And Chemosh said to me, Go, 
take Nebo against Israel. A7td I went in the night, and I 
fought against it from the break of dawn till noon, and I 
took it and slew in all seven thousand inen, but I did 
not kill the women, and waidens, for / devoted them to 
Ashtar-Chemosh ; and I took from it the z^^i-sels of 
Yahveh and offered them before Chemosh. And the 
King of Israel fortified Jahaz and occupied it, when he 
made war against me ; and Chemosh drove him out before 
me, and I took from Moab two hundred men, all its poor, and 
placed them in Jahaz, and took it to annex it to Dibon.' 

The Second Part describes the public works under- 
taken by Mesha after his deliverance from his Jewish 
oppressors, ^^ and the Third records his successful wars 

'' ' I built Korcha, the wall of the forest, and the wall of the city, and I built 
the gates thereof, and I built the towers thereof, and I built the palace, and I 

A A 


against the Edomites.^^ But these two Parts have no 
special interest for us in connexion with our present subject ; 
we will confine our attention to the First Part of the Inscrip- 

(i) Here, first, we notice that the art of writing must 
have already far advanced in that early age, B.C. 900, 
since this stone is clearly and distinctly engraved, with no 
sign of rudeness and imperfection in the work, the words 
being carefully separated by points and the clauses by 
vertical strokes, and the story is recorded in a plain and per- 
spicuous style and in a perfectly grammatical form. There 
is therefore no reason to doubt that the art of writing may 
have been freely practised among the Hebrews in the time 
of Solomon and David, coinp. 2S.xi.i4,i5, and that in that 
age the Original Story of the Pentateuch may have been 

(ii) Next, the letters engraved on this Stone, as I have 
said, are not the later square Chaldee characters as in our 
printed Hebrew Bibles, but the Phoenician, called also the 
Samaritan, which were used by the Hebrews before the 
Captivity. These characters, says GiNSBURG, were common 
before B.C. 700 to all the races of W. Asia, and were used 
in Nineveh, Phoenicia, Jerusalem, Samaria, Moab, Cilicia, 
Cyprus ; so that we have here the alphabet ' from which 
the Greek, the Roman, and all other European alphabets 

made the prisons for the zx'v(x\i7ials with/;/ the walls. And there was no cistern in 
the wall at Korcha, and I said to all the people, make for yourselves everyman a 
cistern in his house. And I dug the ditch for Korcha with the chose7i men of 
/srael. I built Aroer, and I made the road across the Amon. I built Beth-Bamoth, 
for it was destroyed ; I built Bezer, for it was cu/ down by the armed vaen of Dibon, 
for all Dibon was now loyal ; and I reign^^ from Bikran which I added to my 
land, and I hn\lt Beih-Gamul a.rvA Beth-Diblathaim and Beth-Baal-Meon, and I 
placed there the \>oor people (?/the land.' 

" ' And as to Horonaim the men of Edom dwelt therein on the descent from of 
old. And Chemosh said to me, Go down, make war against Horonaim and 
it. And 1 assaulted it, and J took it^ ana Chemosh restored it in my days. \Yhere- 
fore T made . . . year . . and I . . .' 


have been derived, the veritable prototype of modern 
writing.* As we find among them representatives of all 
the tiveiity-two letters of the ancient Semitic alphabet, the 
story, that only sixteen were brought into Greece from 
Phoenicia, falls at once to the ground, and, doubtless, the 
whole Phoenician alphabet was taken over by the Greeks 
from Kadmus, that is, * the man of the east,' for kedem in 
Hebrew means ' the east.' The language, however, though 
closely akin to that found in Phoenician inscriptions, is still 
more nearly allied to Biblical Hebrew, and almost, indeed, 
identical with it. In fact, ' the whole vocabulary of the 
Moabite Stone is to be found in the Hebrew Scriptures ' ; ^^ 
while certain shades of meaning are for the first time 
supplied for certain Hebrew words. This shows how 
closely related were the Hebrews to the Phoenicians and 
Moabites, and, no doubt, to the Ammonites and Edomites, 
and other tribes in the midst of which they settled down 
when they came out of Egypt. And so David allied 
himself closely with the Phoenicians,*^ whom according to 
the Pentateuch he was bound to have utterly destroyed ; *^ 
and he was himself of Moabite descent through his 
ancestress Ruth,*^ and, when threatened by Saul, he sent 
his parents to the care of the king of Moab.*^ 

(iii) We are not told why David afterwards ' smote Moab * 
and slew in cold blood two-thirds of the population, and re- 
duced the whole land to subjection.^*^ But at some time 01 
other after this the Moabites must have shaken off the yoke 
of Judah, since, according to this Stone, Omri, Ahab's father, 
conquered them again about fifty or sixty years after Solo- 
mon's time. Most probably they revolted from Solomon at 
the time when Edom and Syria appear to have regained their 
independence, after the death of David and Joab, in the 

" G.p.29. " 2S.V. ii,iK.v. I. «' D.XX.16, co}np. J.xiii.6 

>8 R.iv. 13-17. '» iS.xxii.3,4. 20 2S.viii.i,2. 

A A 2 


very beginning of Solomon's reign.^* But, according to the 
Stone, they were liberated once more by Mesha, and they 
seem to have maintained their independence of Israel ever 

(iv) Omri is here said to have taken from Moab the land of 
Medeba and with his son Ahab to have held it * forty years/ 
But Omri reigned only twelve years and Ahab twe7ity-two 
years ; ^^ so that they reigned altogether only at most thirty- 
four years, and the conquest will hardly have been made in 
the very first year of Omri. In other words, the term of 

* forty years ' seems to be used here, as it is with reference to 
the wanderings in the wilderness and often elsewhere in Scrip- 
ture,2^ for an indefinite long time, perhaps in this case twenty 
or thirty years. 

(v) Again, the name of the Sun-God, Chemosh, the National 
Deity of Moab,^'* is used in this inscription just exactly as 
Jehovah or Yahveh, the name of the National Deity of the 
Hebrews, the Sun-God of Canaan,^^ was used by the Hebrews. 
Thus the name of Mesha's father, Chemosh-Gad, is com- 
pounded with Chemosh, as so many Hebrew names are com- 
pounded with Jehovah.^^ Moreover, Gad was the God of 
good-fortune, acknowledged by all the Canaanite nations ; so 
that Chemosh-Gad means * Chemosh is the God of good- 
fortune,' just as in the Bible Gaddiel means ^^ ' Gad is 
Elohim,' or Baal-Gad ^* means ' Baal is Gad,' or Baal-Yah ^^ 
means Baal is Yahveh.' So Mesha erects this ' Stone of 
Salvation ' to Chemosh, ' for he saved me from all despoilers ' ; 
just as Samuel sets up a * Stone of Help,' Eben-ezer, saying, 

* Hitherto hath Jehovah helped us,' ^^ or as David set up a 
memorial * when he returned from smiting the Syrians in the 

2' iK.xi.14-25, see p.58. 22 iK.xvi.23,29. »3 p.284. 

'* N.xxi.29, ju.xi.24, iK.xi.7,33, 2K.xxiii.13, Jer.xlviii.7, 13,46. 

'* p. 77- ^^ p. 79. " 

^ J.xi. I7,xii.7,xiii.5. =9 iCh.xii.5. *" iS.vii.l2. 


Valley of Salt.' ^i Chemosh here lets Mesha * see his desire 
upon his enemies ' ; and so the Psalmist says, ' God shall let 
me see my desire upon mine oppressors/ ^^ and again, * I shall 
see my desire upon my enemies.' ^^ Chemosh * was angry * 
with his land, and allowed Israel to oppress it : and so 'the 
anger of JEHOVAH was kindled against Israel, and He de- 
livered them into the hands of spoilers that spoiled them.' ^* 
But Chemosh again has mercy upon his land, and gives Mesha 
the victory over his foes ; and the Israelites upon the wall are 
killed ' for the well-pleasing of Chemosh and Moab,' where 
Chemosh is identified with Moab, as Jehovah is with 
Israel ; ^^ the spoil is offered before Chemosh, as David offers 
his spoil to Jehovah \^^ Chemosh 'said to Mesha, Go, take 
Nebo against Israel,' as JEHOVAH ' said to David, Go, and 
smite the Philistines,' ^^ and sends Saul to smite Amalek.^* 
And Mesha does this and kills all the men, but devotes the 
women and children to Ashtar-Chemosh, that is, reserves 
them for the foul orgies of Sun-worship, of which we see plain 
traces in the Bible as practised down to a late age in Israel.** 
So Mesha takes the ' vessels of Jehovah and offers them 
before Chemosh,' ^^ and Chemosh drives out Israel from before 
him at Jahaz.'*' In short, 'if we did not know the nature of 
the Moabite religion from other sources, and if the name of 
Jehovah were substituted for that of Chemosh, this 
Inscription would read like a chapter in the Book of Kings.''*^ 
(vi) Once more, ' these vessels of Jehovah,' which Mesha 
captures at Nebo and dedicates to Chemosh, show that the 
Deity worshipped by the Israelites at such high-places as that 
at Nebo was really Jehovah, though a Hebrew prophet would 
probably have called them ' vessels of the Baal ' ; and ' the 

^' 2S.viii.13, where the E.V. has *gat him a name.' ^^ Ps.lix. ii. 

" Ps.cxviii.7. " Ju.ii. 13, comp. iii.8, 2K.xiii.3. " J. iv. 12,13, 

8« 2S.viii.11. " iS.xxiii.2. " lS.xv.2,3. 

=•» 2K.xxiii.7, comp. D.xxiii. 18. *" comp. iK.vii. 51, 2S.viii. ll. 

*' E.xxiii.29,30,xxxiv. II, Ju.ii.3,vi.9. « G.p.38. 


fact, that these vessels, used in the service of JEHOVAH, could 
so easily be converted into the worship of Chemosh, shows 
beyond doubt that the special part of the ritual for which they 
Avere designed was common to the religion both of the Hebrews 
and of the Moabites.'^^ Rather, there was probably no 
essential difference between the worship of Chemosh and that 
of Jehovah carried on at the high-places of Judah and 
Jerusalem. Hence the Jeivess Naomi, though a worshipper of 
Jehovah, without any scruple bids Ruth the Moabitess, her 
widowed daughter-in-law, after she had been married ten years 
to her son, and had probably conformed to his religion, to 
return unto her own people and unto her Elohim Chemosh, as 
her sister had done ; but Ruth refuses and says, * Thy people 
shall be my people and thy Elohim my Elohim.' '^^ Hence, 
too, Solomon built a high-place for Chemosh, to oblige his 
Moabite wives, on the Mount of Olives, in full view of the 
Temple of Jehovah.^^ ^j^^ ^^^ observe that in this Inscrip- 
tion Jehovah is spoken of as the National Deity of the 
Northern Kingdom, where, therefore, under the form of a 
calf Jehovah or Yahveh must have been worshipped at 
Bethel or Dan ;^*^ so that, when it is said 'Jeroboam drave 
Israel from following Jehovah,' ^"^ it is meant that by setting 
up his calves he hindered them from serving the God of 
Israel with a higher spiritual worship, undefiled by the gross 
symbols and the lascivious and bloody rites of heathenism. 

(vii) Further, the name ' Jehovah ' was in later days only 
allowed to be used in the priestly benediction in the Temple ; 
and when, on the Great Day of the Atonement, the High- 
Priest uttered it, while confessing the sins of the nation, * all 
the priests and people in the outer court who heard it had to 
kneel down, bow, and fall upon their faces, exclaiming, 
♦Blessed be the glorious Name of His Majesty for ever!/ 

" G.p-22. 44 R.i.15,16. 45 2K.xxiii.13, 

<« iK.xii.28,29. 47 2K.xvii.21. 


while any layman who pronounced it forfeited his life both 
in this world and in the world to come.'"*^ Accordingly this 
Name is never employed in the Septuagint Version or in the 
Apocryphal Books, where Ktirios or Lord is always used for 
it, from which has been derived ' the Lord ' of the English 
Bible. Now tradition maintains that this superstitious dread 
of pronouncing the Name dates after the time of Moses and 
that the Law itself distinctly forbids it And tradition was, 
no doubt, right in supposing that the practice was forbidden, 
or at least discouraged, in that passage of Leviticus, where 
Jehovah orders a man to be stoned to death for blaspheming 
^ the Nanie^^^ the very expression used by the Samaritans 
and later Jews instead of uttering the Divine Name. But then 
this passage of Leviticus was not written * in the time of 
Moses ' : it is one of the latest portions of the Levitical Law. 
Perhaps the Jews, who were settled in Egypt after the 
Captivity, adopted this superstition from the Egyptians, who 
never uttered the names of certain deities, and passed it on to 
the Jews in Palestine. At all events, this Stone shows that 
the Name was well known to the Moabites B.C. 900, as that 
of the National Deity of Israel, and therefore, no doubt, in 
that age it was freely pronounced by the Israelites. 

(viii) Lastly, we must compare the Moabite record with the 
Hebrew account of this same Mesha and his relations with 
Israel.^^ In this we read that Mesha was rich in flocks, and 
paid an annual tribute to the king of Israel of 100,000 wethers 
and 100,000 rams with their wool, — that he rebelled after 
Ahab's death, and that Joram son of Ahab, with his allies, 
Jehoshaphat king of Judah and his tributary, the king of Edom, 
marched against him. by a circuitous route, seven days through 
the wilderness of Edom. The three allies, however, with their 
troops and cattle, were nearly perishing for want of water 

** G.p.22. " L.xxiv. 11-16. '•'^ 2K.iii.4-27. 


when Jehoshaphat found that Elisha was living near at hand 
and went down to consult him. Elisha at first bids Joram 
go to the prophets of his father Ahab and his mother Jezebel ; 
but at last for Jehoshaphat's sake he enquires of JEHOVAH, 
and for reply bids them ' make the valley full of ditches/ for 
without wind or rain it should be filled with water, and Moab 
also should be delivered into their hands, and they ' should 
smite every fenced city and every choice city, and fell every 
good tree, and stop every well of water, and mar every good 
piece of land with stones.' And lo ! in the morning there came 
streams by the way of Edom, and the country was filled with 
water ; and, when the Moabites saw it ruddy with the rays of 
the rising sun, they thought it was blood. So, taking it for 
granted that the three allied armies had smitten one another, 
they rushed in full force to the spoil ; but, when they reached 
the camp of Israel, the Israelites rose up and smote them, 
and chased them into their own land, slaughtering without 
mercy, beating down the cities, marring the land with stones, 
stopping the v/ells, and felling the fruit-trees, till they drove 
the king of Moab into a strong-hold where he maintained 
himself, while the slingers went about and smote it. At last, 
being hard pressed, he sallied out with seven hundred men and 
tried to break through the besieging force, but failed ; where- 
upon he * took his eldest son that should have reigned in his 
stead, and offered him for a burnt-offering upon the wall. 
And there was great indignation against [or upon] Israel, and 
they departed from him, and returned to their own land. 

We have here a very different story from that recorded on 
the Moabite Stone, and the question is. Can these two accounts 
in any way be reconciled ? The contrast between them is 
certainly as great as possible. In the one we have a simple, 
unvarnished tale of struggles and conquests beginning with 
the admission of Moab's long subjection and ending with its 
liberation from the yoke of Israel, but all told in the most 


natural manner, without the least sign of a desire to adorn the 
narrative with fictitious or miraculous incidents : in the other 
we have a series of incredible statements, beginning with an 
annual tribute from Moab of 100,000 wethers and 100,000 
rams, enormously out of proportion to the extent of the 
country (about forty miles long by ten broad), and ending with 
the Moabites mistaking the water in the morning sunlight for 
blood, and hastily concluding that ' the kings are surely slain, 
and they have smitten one another,' — as if, supposing some of 
them for a moment to have been possessed by such a delusion, 
it would not have been dispelled long before they reached 
the Camp of Israel and fell helplessly into their enemies* 
hands ! In short, the whole Hebrew storj'', as it now stands, is 
a manifest fiction, apparently part of some legendary account 
of Elisha's doings, which, like that about Elijah, Jeremiah ^^ 
has adopted into his history of the kings, retouching it here 
and there with his own hand. 

But may this extravagant story after all have been based on 
some real historical fact ? It has been suggested ^^ that the 
Scripture narrative has taken up the account of Mesha's doings 
just where the Moabite Stone has left it, each record having 
suppressed altogether the facts which would have redounded 
to the glory of the enemy, so that here we have only two parts 
of the same campaign described from two opposite points of 
view, like English and French accounts of the Battle of 
Waterloo. Mesha, it is said, may have really freed his country 
north of the Arnon, as stated on the Stone, during the short 
reign of Ahaziah, Ahab's eldest son and successor ; ^^ and then, 
after his death, his successor Joram may have fortified Jahaz 
sotcth of the Arnon, as here mentioned, and tried to stem his 
progress in that direction, but, finding him too strong, was 
obliged to withdraw his force without a battle, or, as the 

*' See Pari VII for the proof tJiat Jeremiah wrote the Books of Kings. 
" G.p. 17-19. " 1K.xxii.51, 2K.L1. 


Stone says, ' Chemosh drave him out.' But after this he may- 
have summoned his allies, as the Bible tells us, and, going 
round by the south, may have utterly overthrown Mesha, 
ravaging his land and shutting him up in his last fortified 
place, from which he tried to break out, but failed, and then, 
by the sacrifice of his son raised such a fury in his people that 
they attacked and routed the Israelites, or, in the euphemistic 
language of the Bible, * there was great indignation against 
Israel, and they departed from him and returned to their own 

This ingenious explanation may possibly be true. Yet, 
considering the fictitious character of most of the details of 
the Hebrew story, this seems very doubtful in face of the fact 
that not the slightest hint of Mesha's disasters, of his having 
lost his towns and had his land ravaged, and been driven to 
sacrifice his firstborn son, appears on the Stone. Perhaps the 
notorious fact of Moab having thrown off under Mesha the yoke 
of Israel alone gave rise to the Scripture story. In order to 
account for the Israelites having permitted such a revolt, they 
are here represented as having first by miraculous aid, 
vouchsafed for the good Jehoshaphat's sake, chastised the 
rebellious Moabites and reduced them to uttermost distress 
and despair, and having then abandoned their conquest in 
consternation and commiseration, as Josephus^'* and many com- 
mentators explain it, at the horrible deed committed before 
their eyes. 

However this may be, it is plain that the Moabite Stone, 
if even its contents can be reconciled at all with the Hebrew 
story, lends no support whatever to the traditionary view as 
to the Divine infallibility of the Bible, much less as to the 
Mosaic origin and Divine authority of the Pentateuch, while 
in various ways it indirectly confirms the views I have set 
before you in these Lectures. For all this, however, the Bible, 

*' Aiil.Y^.'m. 


relieved from a merely superstitious view of its character, 
does not cease to be ' profitable for doctrine, reproof, correc- 
tion, instruction in righteousness.' It still remains for us that 
Book, which, whatever intermixture it may show of human 
elements — of error, infirmity, passion, or ignorance — has yet 
through God's gracious Providence and the working of the 
Divine spirit on the minds of its writers, been the means of 
revealing to us His True Name, the Name of the Living 
God, and has all along been, and, as far as we know, will 
never cease to be, the mightiest instrument in the hand of 
the Divine Teacher for awakening in our minds just concep- 
tions of His character and of His Goodness towards the 
children of men. 




There will be no need in future to hold or teach that slavery is enjoined in 
the Bible by Divine authority ; we are not surprised to find in it numerous 
discrepancies, and very different readings in the Sam. and Sept. Versions, the 
last of which is habitually quoted in the N.T., and comprised the Apocrypha 
of the O.T., as having like authority with the Canonical Books of the English 
Bible ; in all State-aided schools the truths of Science must be taught, though 
often at variance with Scripture ; fictions must not be imposed on ignorant 
heathen 'in the name of the Lord,' nor miraculous stories be matched with 
those of more civilised heathens ; a miracle would in our days be appalling, 
as it would shake our whole faith in the orderly government of the Universe ; 
since the popular notion of the Divine infallibility of the Bible is contradicted 
by the plainest scientific conclusions, Biblical Criticism is a blessed gift, 
which shows that such a notion is a mere delusion ; some great social 
questions will now be treated on their own merits, without appealing to 
supposed Divine dicta in respect of them, e.g., capital punishments, marriages 
of affinity, the treatment of polygamist converts from heathenism, Sunday 
observance ; when the L. L. is shown to be of post-Captivity origin, the 
whole priestly system falls to the ground, and its complement, the ritualistic 
system, with its doctrine of sacrifices ; Bishop Browne on dogmatic 
teaching ; the power of the Cross lies not in dogma ; the life and death of 
Jesus revealed the Father to men, as men must reveal the Father to each 


SHALL now close this series of Lectures by 
considering some of the more important conse- 
quences which follow from the results which have 
been set before you. That we shall be relieved in 
future from the necessity of holding and teaching the re- 
volting doctrine that the practice of slavery may be supported 
by express Divine utterances, like that which permits a master 
to flog his slave to death, provided he or she * continue a day 
or two, for he is his money,' ^ or that which bids a Hebrew slave 
go out free at the end of six years' service, but leave behind 
as slaves his wife and children,^ or that which speaks of 
'Jehovah's tribute 'of thirty-two female slaves, to be the 
perquisite of the priests,^ is obvious at once ; and the clergy of 
all denominations will surely rejoice to have overwhelming 
evidence laid before them that passages such as these form no 
portion of that Divine Law, which they are bound to present 
to their flocks as the Word of the Living God. 

Moreover, we are now able to regard the numerous dis- 
crepancies and contradictions, which a thoughtful student of 
the Bible cannot fail to have noticed, perhaps with pain, in 
different parts of it, as only the natural consequence of the 

' E.xxi.20j2i. 


' N. xxxi.40. 


conditions under which it has been composed, by fallible men 
like ourselves, however inspired with Divine Life, writing in 
different ages and from very different points of view — not to 
speak of the fact that the Greek Version and the Samaritan 
Text give evidence of the existence of very ancient copies of 
the Hebrew Scriptures, containing very considerable varia- 
tions from the Hebrew Text, which in those days were 
regarded as authoritative records of the Jewish Religion, 
and as such are habitually quoted in the New Testament. 
Nay, the Apocryphal Books of the Old Testament were all 
received by those ancient Alexandrian Jews as equally 
* canonical ' with the other Scriptures, as they are still by the 
Roman Church and most of them by the Greek Church, and 
were not very long ago by the Reformed Church of England.'* 

Again, there are few intelligent Christians who have not of 
themselves been brought to the conviction that the statements 
of the Bible are frequently opposed to the plain conclusions 
of Modern Science in almost every department, Geology, 
Astronomy, Geography, History, Ethnology, Physiology, 
Chemistry, &c. Must our children learn in the day-school 
elementary truths, which will flatly contradict the teaching 
of the Pulpit and the Sunday-School } And must we not 
expect that, as the result of such confusing lessons, they will 
be in very great danger of parting with religion itself, and 
making shipwreck of faith altogether } Or shall we be justi- 
fied in supporting schools where, in the vain hope of avoiding 
or at least staving off this danger, under the anxious care of 
religious bodies. Church of England or otherwise, * lies ' shall 
be habitually 'taught in the name of the Lord,'^ on matters 
which concern their moral growth and intellectual develop- 
ment and their best interests as social beings } 

And the heathen, to whom we send our Missionaries — who 
are not yet drugged with the results of past centuries of 

* p. 3 1 9. * Zech.xiii.3. 


dogmatic teaching, but are ready to open their hearts to us, 
and receive as messages from a higher sphere the word which 
we bring to them, — zvJiat rigJit have we to begin our work 
among them by laying down a basis of falsehood, and, while 
professing to be servants of the God of Truth, with our own 
eyes already in some measure opened to the light, to insist 
on loading their minds with superstitions, preparing thus a 
future harvest — here also, as elsewhere — of miserable doubt 
or irremediable unbelief? Can we expect any blessing from 
above on such proceedings ? 

Or, in the case of more highly civilised heathens, must we 
attempt to rival them in quoting one miracle after another, a 
belief in which is to be regarded as an essential part of 
Christian Faith ? — when to us, grown up and nurtured amongst 
the secrets of Nature, now revealed, with our extended know- 
ledge of the laws, the order, of this wondrous universe, so 
manifold, so diverse, yet all tending to unity, to one great 
central Cause, a miracle, if really witnessed, would be like a 
jarring discord in the midst of a mighty music — not a sign of 
the master-musician's presence, but a token that for once he 
had failed to subdue the rebellious elements — would, in short, 
be simply frightful. Must we really give up all faith in our 
Father in Heaven, * all our dearest hopes and consolations,' — 
must we turn a deaf ear to the Divine Teachings of the Son 
of Man, the way to the Father, the truth and the life — are all 
those words of power to become unmeaning, to lose their 
sense for us, now that the light of science or critical research 
compels us to give up the setting of the jewel, the antique 
moulding, peculiar and suitable to the times in which it was 
cast, which has surrounded the pearl of great price for so 
many centuries ? 

Shall we not rather bless God devoutly that in this our 
wondrous mother-age He has awakened among us the gift of 
critical Science, as well as the rest— so that, whereas in 

B B 


former days, when comparatively little was known about the 
universe, it was possible by a few adroit words to silence 
enquiry about the meaning of the first chapters of Genesis, 
and so little harm was done comparatively by those appear- 
ances of conflict between Scripture and Science which were 
even then observed by a few, noWy however, when the light 
shines roundabout us and penetrates every corner, the results 
of Modern Biblical Criticism come to relieve us from the 
miserable necessity of choosing between the Book of Nature 
and the Book of God, and we are able to receive joyfully 
illumination from whatever source it reaches us, from the 
Bible and from the Church, as also from the rich outflowings 
of Literature and Science, with which the * Father of Lights * 
has blessed us in this our day ? Shall we not be thankful 
that the idol, which tradition had set up by its notion of 
Infallible Inspiration, is for ever upset and annihilated, like the 
brazen serpent, which the Israelites worshipped in blind 
superstition as the work of Moses in the wilderness, but which 
Hezekiah broke in pieces and called it ' Nehushtan — a piece 
of brass ' ? ^ That notion of Scripture Infallibility is clearly 
seen to be a mere human invention and absolutely false. 
There is no infallible Book for our guidance, as there is no 
infallible Church or infallible Man. The Father of spirits has 
not willed it thus, who knows best what is needed for the 
training of each individual soul, as well as for the education 
of the race. But He gives us light enough upon our path that 
we may rejoice before Him and do our work faithfully day by 
day, and fear no evil here or hereafter. And the pure and 
loving in heart and true in life will see God face to face in 
many a passage of the Sacred Book — will recognize the 
Divine revealing Itself in the Human in all that is good 
throughout it from beginning to end— will hear God's voice 

^ 2K.xviii.4. 


in it speaking to the soul, through the ministry of frail and 
faulty fellovv-mcn, of like passions as we are and subject to 
like infirmities — will feel His Living Word come home to the 
heart, and that it must be obeyed. 

Again, some questions of great public importance will now 
be relieved from the incubus which has hitherto weighed down 
the discussion of them through the notion that there were 
religious difficulties in the way, that the Divine Voice had 
uttered an authoritative dictum, which must either preclude 
any free discussion, or else must be explained away, before 
such subjects could be discussed at all. It will probably be 
no longer urged, as it has been in former days, that all wilful 
heretics and obstinate unbelievers should be destroyed, as 
Jehovah commanded the Canaanites to be,^ that all wizards 
and witches should be put to death,^ or that a stubborn son 
should be brought out by his father and mother, ' and all the 
men of his city shall stone him with stones that he die.' ^ Yet 
capital punishments are still maintained in the case of 
murderers upon the notion that the words in Genesis, ' Whoso 
sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed,'^° were 
really uttered by Almighty Wisdom, instead of their merely 
expressing the views of a pious Hebrew of old, or perhaps 
recording the actual practice of an age, when Samuel * hewed 
Agag to pieces before JEHOVAH, '^^ and David sawed asunder, 
harrowed, chopped in pieces, and burnt, his Ammonite 
captives ^^ — acts which can hardly be regarded as models for 
Christian times. 

Further, the question of marriages of affinity is complicated 
in the minds of many with the consideration of a certain law 
in Leviticus ^^ — which appears, however, only to forbid a man 
marrying his wife's sister while the wife herself is living, — as 
if it had Divine authority, and was anything more than a rule 

' D.vii.2,xx. 16, 17. » E.xxii.iS,L.xx.27. " D.xxi. 18-21. 

'« G.ix.6. " iS.xv.33. '•- 2S.xii.31. '3 L.xviii.18. 

j{ B 2 


existing among the polygamist Jews at the time of the 
Captivity ; though it did not prevent a writer in David's age 
from representing their forefather Jacob as having married two 
sisters at once. And so, too, the question of the proper mode 
of dealing with polygamist converts from heathenism has been 
considered not only under the influence of that strong feeling 
of monogamy which has characterised the Teutonic race from 
the earliest times,^* and of that still higher feeling which springs 
from appreciating the true place of woman under the teach- 
ing of Christianity, but under the notion that to suffer a native 
convert to remain in the state in which the Word of God had 
found him, though with more than one wife, is opposed to the 
Great Marriage Law of Paradise,^^ as if this were an infallible 
Divine command, which must be enforced at all sacrifices, and 
at the cost of that sense of justice and tenderness towards 
wives and children, which is of the very essence of Christianity 
— though such a command must appear to them in puzzling 
contradiction to the conduct of Abraham the ' father of the 
faithful ' and David the ' man after God's own heart,' if the 
facts of their histories are honestly brought before them as 
recorded in the Bible. 

It may be that these and other like questions will in future 
be treated purely on their own merits as civil and social 
questions, without appealing to supposed religious sanctions 
of the most stringent kind, which are now shown to be of no 
authority whatever. Of the same nature, but frequently far 
more serious, is the evil caused by the solemn recitation of the 
Ten Commandments, with their Sabbath-law, as words uttered 
by the Divine Voice ; whereas, as we have seen,^^ they are 
only a summary by a later Jewish prophet of what he deemed 
the most essential things to be observed in Israel, departing, 
however, in respect of the Sabbath from the older custom, 

'^ Tac. Germ.xy'm, '* G.ii.24. " p. 138. 


which made the New Moon of more importance than ordinary- 
Sabbaths, as ih^ first Sabbath of the month, which regulated 
the rest, and was therefore honoured with far larger sacri- 

But, perhaps, the most important effect of the criticism of 
the Pentateuch is this, to strike a death-blow at the whole 
sacerdotal system, which mainly rests on the supposition that 
the Levitical Laws in the Books of Exodus, Leviticus, and 
Numbers are really of Mosaic or, rather, of Divine origin. We 
have seen that these are all without exception the product of 
a very late age, during or after the Captivity,^^ and for the 
most part express merely the hopes and ambitious pretensions 
of the very numerous body of priests, lording it over the con- 
sciences of the comparatively small number of devoted laity, 
who returned from the Captivity to Jerusalem,^^ and make 
the position of the priest, his rank and power, his action and 
influence, of supreme importance to the whole community. 
We have seen what a plentiful provision is made for their 
support^^ — how strong a line of separation is drawn not only 
between the clergy and the laity, but even between the priests 
and the Levites,^^ of which no sign appears before the 
Captivity, when the very name ' sons of Aaron ' was utterly 
unknown, which replaces Ezekiel's ' sons of Zadok ' 22 through- 
out the Levitical Legislation and the Chronicler's writings,^^ 
but occurs nowhere else in the whole of the Old Testament, 
except in a few of the later Psalms^^ — and how in the Books 
of Chronicles, the fitting pendant to these priestly laws, the 
priests and the Levites are perpetually brought upon the 
stage, with almost ludicrous eagerness.'^^ We have seen also 
that this sacerdotal yoke was fastened upon the necks of the 
people at a time when the prophet's voice was rarely heard to 


'» p. 192-4. 

" P.257,330. 

2« p.22I. 

" P- 190,337- 

" p. 194,255. 

" p. 205-8. 

" P-349. 

« p. 337-40. 


disturb their self-complacent slumbers,^^ until true spiritual 
life became at last deadened in them, and so, when the Great 
Prophet came, they blinded their eyes and stopped their ears, 
that the Truth might not reach them, and the multitude urged 
on by the priests cried * Crucify him ! Crucify him ! ,' and 
' the voices of them and of the chief priests prevailed.' '^^ 

But with the priesthood comes also to the ground the whole 
ritualistic system, with its multitude of sacrifices expressly 
contrived, not merely for the relief of the burdened conscience 
of the sinner, but for the benefit of the priest. How, indeed, 
could these narrow priestly notions set forth in any way the 
sacrifice of Christ, that living sacrifice of loving obedience, 
faithful unto death, the death of the cross, amidst seemingly 
blighted hopes and disappointed efforts and the bitterest con- 
tempt and hatred in return for lifelong labours of self-sacrific- 
ing love — the sacrifice which Jesus offered in his life and death, 
and which in their measure all his true followers must be ready 
to ofier also, as parts of that * daily sacrifice ' to be presented 
by the ' Israel of God,' the good and true of all ages and 
climes and under all religions, the savour of which mounts up 
to Heaven as holy incense, and helps to keep the whole world 
sweet ! 

Lastly, the time is surely come when in all State-assisted 
schools children shall be supplied with instruction in full 
agreement with the advanced knowledge of the times, without 
having their intellects and their hearts and consciences stunted 
and deformed by the cramping effects of dogmatic teaching. 
A Bishop of the Church of England has lately said, speaking 
on behalf of the National-School system, 'We have not 
troubled their little brains, as some people seem to think, with 
all kinds of dogmatic theology ; though by the bye I don't 
think people know what dogmatic theology means. The fact 

" p.2io, 2» Lukexxiii.23. 


that there is a God is dogmatic theology. The fact that there 
is a heaven, a hell, that our Saviour came down to save us, 
that is dogmatic theology. Of course, in that way we have 
taught them dogmatic theology.' ^^ These little ones, then, 
are taught about ' hell ' — that is to say, not about death and 
the grave, which are facts before their eyes continually, or 
about a righteous judgment for faults committed against the 
better knowledge which they possess, to which even the con- 
science of a child will bear witness— but about the everlasting 
torments of hell-fire, that revolting and blasphemous dogma, 
which dooms to never-ending woe the vast majority of human 
beings, of men, women, and children with whom they meet 
upon their daily pathway — which makes the God and Father 
of our Lord Jesus Christ, * the Father of mercies and the God 
of all consolation,' into a very Moloch, reigning upon a throne 
of glory, while shrieks and groans are ever resounding from 
the bottomless abyss, and, as some teach, ^'^ the cries of little 
innocent unbaptized babes among the rest — * and the smoke 
of their torments goes up for ever and ever ' ! 

No ! the fact that there is a God is not dogmatic theology, 
except for those who are subjected to such teaching as this. 
It may be made so, of course, if men will seek to commend 
belief in this fact, by denouncing the terrors of ' hell ' against 
all who refuse to believe it, or by holding out the joys of 
' heaven ' as a reward for those who are willing to receive it. 
But it need not be so, and it should not be so, when a Chris- 
tian Teacher is seeking to carry home that truth to the heart, 
for instance, of a little child or of an ignorant heathen. 
Rather, he will feel within himself, what is ready to be 
awakened in every intelligent human being, the sense of a 
Mighty Presence about us which cannot be put by, the sense 
of dependence upon an Unseen Father and Friend, a longing 

2' Bishop (Browne) of Ely, {Guardian, Nov. 14, 1870). 
^' Sec Natal Scnno}is, First Series, p. 130-4. 


desire to find Him who Ms not far from any one of us/ in 
whom we * Hve and move and have our being.' It is no 
' dogmatic teaching ' to say that in the Hght of that Presence, 
in the conscious enjoyment of it, must be Heaven, the Hfe and 
blessedness of the creature, or that in the loss of that light, the 
conscious sense of the Divine displeasure, must be the very 
sum of wretchedness, more awful than any physical pain or 
contact with devils, or all the machinery of the popular ' hell.' 
To teach that Jesus is the Saviour of men is not to lay down 
a number of tenets respecting his person and nature, as taught 
by ' dogmatic theologians ' and enforced in the so-called 
Athanasian Creed. We need not require on pain of perdition 
a belief in miracles, whether those of the Pentateuch or those 
which the Gospels represent as specially endorsing the 
mission of Jesus to mankind, whose doings, however, we now 
see but indistinctly through the of those many years 
which had elapsed between the time when Jesus lived on earth 
and the time when those narratives were written. It does not 
seem that those ' mighty works ' produced any permanent 
effect on the men of that age. Where were the multitudes 
that saw those wonders, that were healed themselves or had 
their dear ones healed, — the five thousand that were fed with 
five loaves or the four thousand with seven, — when * all his 
disciples forsook him an^ fled,' or when a few dejected 
followers and a few trembling broken-hearted women stood 
or sat down beneath his bloody Cross } 

Ah ! but from that Cross has gone forth a power to subdue 
and to regenerate the world. God's strength was made 
perfect in that weakness. The sight of love so pure, so 
patient, so tried with suffering, so triumphant in death, has 
given sa such a glimpse of the Divine Love, with which the 
whole soul of Jesus was filled, as had never been revealed to 
man before. It was the Love of God which poured itself out 
in the life and death of Jesus upon all the sorrowful and 


sinstricken, the waifs and strays of humanity, the prodigal and 
the outcast, the publican and the sinner, as well as upon the 
best and noblest of our race. It is the Love of God also 
which is manifested even now in their lives and deaths, in 
those of all his true followers, the faithful and good of all ages. 
This teaching is simple enough, and brings its own evidence 
to the soul. There is no need to enforce it by damnatory 
clauses and the threat of hell-fire. When once this idea has 
fully possessed us — when once we hear the Divine Voice 
saying to us by the lips of Jesus, not * Blessed are those who 
keep undefiled all the articles of this creed,' but ' Blessed are 
the meek, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, 
those who hunger and thirst after righteousness,' — when once 
we realize that God Himself is speaking to us by every word 
or act of truth and goodness which His Spirit helps us, as His 
own dear children, to put forth in d-^.ily intercourse one with 
another, revealing thereby, each in his measure, even as 
Jesus did, the Father to men — it is all clear as day to us, it is 
as if our eyes were opened, as if, having been born blind, we 
are able now to see of ourselves that the whole world — in 
spite of all seeming contradictions — is full of the Glory and 
Goodness of God. 




The sign || denotes that here an ititerpolation occurs in the present 
JSook of Genesis, 


These are the generations of the Heaven and the Earth in the day of their 
being created.* 

Z. iln the beginning of ELOHIM'S creating the Heaven and the Earth, 
2 when the Earth was waste and void, and darkness upon the face of the 
deep, and the spirit of ELOHIM hovering upon the face of the waters, 3 then 
ELOHIM said, ' Let there be light,' and there was light. * And ELOHIM saw 
the light that it was good, and ELOHIM divided between the light and the 
darkness. 5 And ELOHIM called the light ' Day,' and the darkness He called 
' Night.' And it was evening and it was morning — one day. 

6 And ELOHIM said, ' Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, 
and let it be dividing between waters and waters.' 7 And ELOHIM made the 
expanse, and divided between the waters which were under the expanse and 
the waters which were above the expanse; and it was so. 8 And ELOHIM 
called the expanse ' Heaven.' And it was evening and it was morning— a 
second day. 

9 And ELOHIM said, * Let the waters under the Heaven be gathered unto 
one place, and let the dry land appear ' ; and it was so. 1° And ELOHIM 

* These words, which now appear in G.ii.4a, seem to have formed a part 
originally of the Elohistic Narrative, having been prefixed as a heading to the 
account of the Creation in G.i, as in other similar instances in that narrative, 
G.V.I, vi.9, xi. 10,27, XXV. 12, 19, xxxvi.1,9, xxxvii,2a. 


called the dry land ' Earth,' and the gathering of waters called He * Seas ' ; 
and ELOHIM saw that it was good, n And ELOHIM said, ' Let the Earth 
vegetate vegetation, the herb seeding seed, the fruit-tree making fruit after 
its kind, whose seed is in it, upon the Earth ' ; and it was so. 12 And the 
Earth brought-forth vegetation, the herb seeding seed after its kind, and the 
tree making fruit, whose seed is in it, after its kind ; and ELOHIM saw that 
it was good. i3 And it was evening and it was morning— a third day. 

14 And ELOHIM said, 'Let there be luminaries in the expanse of the 
Heaven, to divide between the day and the night, and let them be for signs, 
and for seasons, and for days and years ; i5 and let them be for luminaries in 
the expanse of Heaven, to give light upon the Earth ' ; and it was so. i^And 
ELOHIM made the two great luminaries, — the greater luminary for the rule 
of the day, and the lesser luminary for the rule of the night, — and the stars. 
17 And ELOHIM put them in the expanse of the Heaven, to give light upon 
the Earth, is and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide 
between the light and the darkness; and ELOHIM saw that it was good. 
19 And it was evening and it was morning — a fourth day. 

20 And ELOHIM said, ' Let the waters swarm with swarming-things of 
living soul, and let fowl fly over the Earth upon the face of the expanse of 
the Heaven.' 21 And ELOHIM created the great monsters, and every living 
soul that moveth, which the waters swarmed after their kind, and every 
fowl of wing after its kind ; and ELOHIM saw that it was good. 22 And ELO- 
HIM blessed them, saying, * Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in 
the Seas, and let fowl abound in the Earth. 23 And it was evening and it 
was morning — a fifth day. 

24 And ELOHIM said, ' Let the Earth bring-forth living soul after its kind, 
cattle, and moving thing, and living-thing of the Earth after its kind ' ; and 
it was so. 25 And ELOHIM made the living-thing of the Earth after its kind, 
and the cattle after its kind, and every moving-thing of the ground after its 
kind ; and ELOHIM saw that it was good. 26 And ELOHIM said, < Let us 
make man in our image, after our likeness ; and let them have-dominion over 
the fish of the Sea, and over the fowl of the Heaven, and over the cattle, and 
over every living-thing of the Earth, and over every moving-thing that 
moveth upon the Earth.' 27 And ELOHIM created man in His image ; in the 
image of ELOHIM created He him; male and female created He them. 
28 And ELOHIM blessed them, and ELOHIM said to them, * Be fruitful and 
multiply, and fill the Earth, and subdue it ; and have-dominion over the fish 
of the Sea, and over the fowl of the Heaven, and over every living-thing that 
moveth upon the Earth.' 29 And ELOHIM said, 'Lo! I give you every herb 
seeding seed, which is on the face of all the Earth, and every tree in which 
is the fruit of a tree seeding seed ; to you it shall be for food : so and to every 
living-thing of the Earth, in which is a living soul, / give every green herb 
for food ' ; and it was so. 3i And ELOHIM saw all that He had made, and lo ! 
it teas very good. And it was evening and it was morning — a sixth day. 

II. lAnd the Heaven and the Earth were finished, and all their host. 
2 And ELOHIM finished on the seventh day His work which He had made, 


and rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made. 3 And 
ELOHIM blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it; for on it He rested from 
all His work which ELOHIM created and made.|{ 

V. iThis is the book of the generations of Adam in the day of ELOHIM' S 
creating Adam ; in the likeness of ELOHIM made He him. 2 Male and female 
created He them and blessed them, and He called their name Adam in the 
day of their being created. 

3 And Adam lived a hundred and thirty years, and begat in his likeness, 
according to his image ; and he called his name Seth. * And the days of 
Adam, after his begetting Seth, were eight hundred years, and he begat sons 
and daughters. ^ And all the days of Adam which he lived were nine hun- 
dred and thirty years, and he died. 

6 And Seth lived a hun<lred and five years, and begat Enos. 7 And Seth 
lived, after his begetting Enos, eight hundred and seven years, and begat 
sons and daughters. 8 And all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve 
years, and he died. 

9 And Enos lived ninety years, and begat Kenan. 10 And Enos lived, after 
his begetting Kenan, eight hundred and fifteen years, and begat sons and 
daughters. 1^ And all the days of Enos were nine hundred and five years, 
and he died. 

12 And Kenan lived seventy years, and begat Mahalaleel. i^And Kenan 
lived, after his begetting Mahalaleel, eight hundred and forty years, and 
begat sons and daughters. ^^ And all the days of Kenan were nine hundred 
and ten years, and he died. 

15 And Mahalaleel lived sixty-and-five years, and begat Jared. is And Ma- 
halaleel lived, after his begetting Jared, eight hundred and thirty years, 
and begat sons and daughters. i^And all the days of Mahalaleel were 
eight hundred and ninety-five years, and he died. 

18 And Jared lived a hundred and sixty-two years, and begat Enoch. 
19 And Jared lived, after his begetting Enoch, eight hundred years, and 
begat sons and daughters. 20 And all the days of Jared were nine hundred 
and sixty-two years, and he died. 

21 And Enoch lived sixty-and-five years, and begat Methuselah. 22 And 
Enoch walked with ELOHIM, after his begetting Methuselah, three hundred 
years, and begat sons and daughters. 23 And all the days of Enoch were 
three hundred and sixty-five years. 24 And Enoch walked with ELOHIM, 
and he was not, for ELOHIM took him. 

25 And Methuselah lived a hundred and eighty-seven years, and begat 
Lamech. 26 And Methuselah lived, after his begetting Lamech, seven hundred 
and eighty-two years, and begat sons and daughters. 27 And all the days of 
Methuselah were nine hundred and sixty-nine years, and he died. 

28 And Lamech lived a hundred and eighty-two years, and begat [Noah, 
p. 35]. II 30 And Lamech lived, after his begetting Noah, five hundred and 
ninety-five years, and begat sons and daughters, si And all the days of 
Lamech were seven hundred and seventy-seven years, and he died. 


S2 And Noah was five hundred years old, and Noah begat Shem, Ham, and 

Japheth. || 

VI. 9 These are the generations of Noah. 

Noah was a man just and perfect in his generations : Noah walked with 
ELOHIM. 10 And Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. 11 And 
the Earth had become-corrupt before ELOHIM, and the Earth was filled with 
violence. 12 And ELOHIM saw the Earth, and lo ! it had become-corrupt ; 
for all flesh had corrupted its way upon the Earth. 

13 And ELOHIM said to Noah, < The end of all flesh has come before Me, for 
the Earth is full of violence because of them ; and lo ! I will destroy them 
with the Earth. ** Make thee an Ark of cypress-wood ; with cells shalt thou 
make the Ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch. || i7 And I, lo ! 
am bringing the Flood of waters upon the Earth, to destroy all flesh in which is 
a living spirit from under the Heaven ; all which is in the Earth shall die. 
18 But I establish My covenant with thee ; and thou shalt go into the Ark, 
t^iou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons' wives with thee. 19 And out of 
every living-thing out of all flesh, two out of all shalt thou bring into the 
Ark, to keep-alive with thee ; male and female shall they be. 20 Out of the 
fowl after its kind, and out of the cattle after its kind, out of every moving- 
thing of the ground after its kind, two out of all shall come unto thee, to 
keep-alive. 21 And thou — take thee out of all food which is eaten, and thou 
shalt gather it unto thee, and it shall be to thee and to them for food.' 22 And 
Noah did according to all which ELOHIM commanded him, so did he. || 

VII. 6 And Noah was six hundred years old when the Flood of waters was 
upon the Earth. "^ And Noah went, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons' 
v/ives with him, into the Ark, because of the waters of the Flood. ^ Out of 
the clean cattle and out of the cattle which are not clean, and out of the fowl 
and all that moveth upon the ground, 9 two and two, they came unto Noah 
into the Ark, male and female, as ELOHIM commanded Noah. || 

11 In the six-hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, in the 
seventeenth day of the month, on this day were broken up all the fountains 
of the great deep, and the windows of the Heaven were opened. || i3 On this 
very day went Noah, and Shem and Ham and Japheth, Noah's sons, and 
Noah's wife, and his sons' three wives with them, into the Ark; i^they, and 
every living-thing after its kind, and all the cattle after its kind, and every 
moving-thing that moveth upon the Earth after its kind, and all the fowl 
after its kind, every fowl of every wing, i^ And they came unto Noah into the 
Ark, two and two, out of all flesh in which is a living spirit. i6a_A.ji,i those 
coming, male and female out of all flesh they came, as ELOHIM commanded him. || 

18a And the waters were mighty, and multiplied greatly upon the Earth, || 
19^, and all the high mountains that were under all the Heaven were covered. || 

21 And all flesh died that moved upon the Earth, fowl and cattle and living- 
thing and all the swarming-things that swarm upon the Earth, and all man. 

22 All in whose nostrils xms the breath of a living spirit, out of all which wan 
in the dry landy died.ji 28b And only Noah was left and what was with him 


in the Ark. 24 And tlie waters were mighty upon the Earth a hundred and 
fifty days. || 

VIII. 1 And ELOHIM remembered Noah and every living-thing and all 
the cattle that was with him in the Ark ; and ELOHIM caused-to-pass-over 
a wind upon the Earth, and the waters subsided. 2a And the fountains of the 
deep were stopped and the windows of the Heaven; || 3b and the waters de- 
creased at the end of a hundred and fifty days,]] ^^in the seventh month, in 
the seventeenth day of the month. || ^And the waters were decreasing con- 
tinually until the tenth month : in the tenth mnnth, in the first of the month, 
the tops of the mountains were seen.|| isaAnd it came to pass in the six 
hundred and first year, in the first month, in the first of the month, that the 
waters were dried-up from off the Earth : || i* and in the second month, in the 
seventeenth day of the month, the Earth was dry. 

15 And ELOHIM spake unto Noah, saying, 16 * Go-forth out of the Ark, thou, 
and thy wife, and thy sons and thy sons' wives with thee. ^^ Every living- 
thing that is with thee out of all fiesh, fowl, and cattle, and every moving- 
thing that moveth upon the Earth, bring-forthwith thee; and let them swarm 
in the Earth, and be fruitful and multiply upon the Earth.' is And Noah 
went-forth, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons' wives with him. 
19 Every living-thing, every moving-thing, and every fowl, everything 
moving upon the Earth — after their families they went-forth out of the Ark.|| 

IX. lAnd ELOHIM blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, 'Be 
fruitful and multiply and fill the Earth. 2 And the fear of you and the dread 
of you shall be upon every living thing of the Earth, and upon every fowl ol 
the Heaven, upon all that moveth upon the ground, and upon all the fishes 
of the Sea ; into your hand they are given. 3 Every moving-thing that 
liveth, to you it shall be for food: as the green herb I give to you all. * Only 
flesh with its soul, its blood, ye shall not eat. ^ And surely your blood of 
your souls will I require ; from the hand of every living-thing will I require 
it, and from the hand of man; from the hand of a man's brother will I require 
the soul of man. 6 whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be 
shed : for in the image of ELOHIM made He man. 7 And you, be fruitful and 
multiply, swarm in the Earth and multiply in it.' 

8 And ELOHIM said unto Noah and unto his sons with him, saying, ^ 'And 
I, lo ! I will establish My covenant with you and with your seed after you, 
10 and with every living soul which is with you, fowl and cattle and every 
living-thing of the Earth with you, from all going-forth out of the Ark to 
every living-thing of the Earth, n And I establish My covenant with you, 
and all flesh shall not be again cut off through the waters of the Flood, and 
there shall not be again a Flood to destroy the Earth.' 

12 And ELOHIM said, ' This is the sign of the Covenant which I will put 
between Me and you and every living soul that is with you, for perpetual 
generations. 13 My bow do I put in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of a 
Covenant between Me and the Earth, i* And it shall be, at My bringing-a 
oloud upon the Earth, when the bow shall appear in the cloud, i5 then I will 
remember My Covenant which is between Me and you and every living soul 

C C 


among all flesh ; and the waters shall not become again a Flood to destroy 
all flesh. 16 And, when the bow shall be in the cloud, then I will see it, to 
remember the perpetual Covenant between ELOHIM and every living soul 
among all flesh that is upon the earth, i? And ELOHIM said unto Noah, 
' This is the sign of the Covenant which I establish between Me and all flesh 
that is upon the Earth.' II 

28 And Noah lived after the Flood three hundred and fifty years. 29 ^.nd 
all the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years, and he died. || 

XI. 10 These are the generations of Shem. 

Shem was a hundred years old, and begat Arphaxad two years after the 
Flood. 11 And Shem lived, after his begetting Arphaxad, five hundred years, 
and begat sons and daughters. 

12 And Arphaxad lived five-and-thirty years, and begat Salah. i3And 
Arphaxad lived, after his begetting Salah, four hundred and three years, and 
begat sons and daughters. 

14 And Salah lived thirty years, and begat Heber. i5 And Salah lived, after 
his begetting Heber, four hundred and three years, and begat sons and 

16 And Heber lived four-and-thirty years, and begat Peleg. i? And Heber 
lived, after his begetting Peleg, four hundred and thirty years, and begat 
sons and daughters, 

18 And Peleg lived thirty years, and begat Reu. i^And Peleg lived, after 
his begetting Ecu, two hundred and nine years, and begat sons and daughters. 

20 And Reu lived two-and-thirty years, and begat Serug. 21 And Reu 
lived, after his begetting Serug, two hundred and seven years, and begat 
sons and daughters. 

22 And Serug lived thirty years, and begat Nahor. 23 And Serug lived, 
after his begetting Nahor, two hundred years, and begat sons and daughters. 

24 And Nahor lived nine-and-twenty years, and begat Terah. 25 And Nahor 
lived, after his begetting Terah, a hundred and nineteen years, and begat 
sons and daughters. 

26 And Terah lived seventy years, and begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran. 

27 And these are the generations of Terah. 

Terah begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran begat Lot.|| siAnd 
Terah took Abram his son, and Lot, the son of Haran, his son's son, and Sarai 
his daughter-in-law, the wife of Abram his son, and they went-forth with 
them together out of TJr of the Chaldees to go to the land of Canaan, and they 
went as far as Charran and dwelt there. 32 And the days of Terah were two 
hundred and five years, and Terah died in Charran. || 

XII. 4^ And Abram was seventy-five years old at his going-forth out of 
Charran. ^ And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all 
their gain which they had gotten, and the souls which they had made in 
Charran, and they went-forth to go to the land of Canaan, and they came to 
the land of Canaan. 11 XIII. 6 And the land did not bear them to dwell to- 


gether; for their gain was much, and they were not able to dwell together 11 
12 Abram dwelt in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelt in the cities of the 

ClxCUlt)* I 

XVI. I Now Sarai, Abram's wife, bare not to him, and she had a maid, an 
Egyptian, and her name was Hagar. \\ 3 And Sarai, Abram's wife, took Hagar 
the Egyptian, her maid, at the end of ten years of Abram's dwelling in the 
land of Canaan, and gave her to Abram her husband to him for wife. 11 i5 And 
Hagar bare to Abram a son, and Abram called the name of his son, which 
Hagar bare, Ishmael. le And Abram was eighty-and-siz years old at Hagar's 
bearing Ishmael to Abram. I) ^ 

XVII. lAnd Abram was ninety-and-nine years old, and JEHOVAH* ap- 
peared unto Abram and said unto him, ' I am EL-SHADDAI: walk before Me 
and be thou perfect. 2 And I will put my Covenant between Me and thee' 
and I will very greatly multiply thee.' ' 

3 And Abram fell upon his face, and ELOHIM spake with him saying 
^J I-lo ! My Covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of a multitude 
of nations. 5 And thy name shall not be called any longer Abram, but thv 
name shall be Abraham; for I put thee as a father of a multitude of nations 
6 And I will make thee very fruitful and will put thee for nations, and kings 
shall go-forth out of thee. 7 And I will establish My Covenant between Me 
and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for a perpetual Cove- 
nant, to be to thee ELOHIM and to thy seed after thee. 8 And I will give to 
thee and to thy seed after thee the land of thy sojournings, the whole land 
ot Canaan, for a perpetual possession, and I will be to them ELOHIM ' 

9 And ELOHIM said unto Abram, « And thou-My Covenant shalt thou 
keep, thou and thy seed after thee in their generations. 10 This is My Cove 
nant which they shall keep between Me and you and thy seed after thee-to 
be circumcised among you every male, n And ye shall circumcise the flesh 
of your foreskin, and it shall be for a sign of a Covenant between Me and 
you 12 And every male in your generations, eight days old, shall be circum- 
cised among you-child of the house, and purchase of silver from any son 01 

This IS the only instance where, in the present Hebrew copies of the Bible 
'Jehovah ' occurs in the whole Elohistic Narrative before the revelation in 
E.V1.2-S. The proper formula of the Elohist is seen in G xxxv 9 'And 
ELOHIM appeared unto Jacob,' identical with that before us, except in respect of 
the Divine ^ame. Since, therefore, ' Elohim ' is used everywhere else (87 times) 
in the Elohistic Narrative and ten times in this very chapter, it seems very pro- 
bable that it stood originally in v.i, and has been accidentally changed to 
Jehovah —perhaps by an oversight of some copyist. In fact, the ' Ei ohim ' 
of Z/.3 apparently presupposes ' Elohim ' also in v. i. 

It is not necessary, however, to suppose such an error in copying; since thp 
Elohist himself knew and used the name Jehovah, as appears from E vi 2-q and 
therefore may have inadvertently employed it here in his history ' Tehovah 
appeared unto Abram,' though he does not place it in the mouth of the Deitv ' I 
am Jehovah, ' or of any other speaker before the revelation to Moses 

c c 2 


the stranger, which is not of thy seed. i3 Circumcised shall he surely be, 
child of thy house and purchase of thy silver ; and My Covenant shall be in 
your flesh for a perpetual Covenant, i* And an uncircumcised male, whose 
flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his 
people ; he hath broken My Covenant.' 

15 And ELOHIM said unto Abraham, ' Sarai thy wife— thou shalt not call 
her name Sarai ; for Sarah is her name, i^ And I will bless her, and also I 
will give to thee out of her a son, and I will bless her, and she shall becom« 
nations, kings of peoples shall be out of her.' p 

19 And Abraham said unto ELOHIM, ' Would that Ishmael may live before 
Thee ! ' 19 And ELOHIM said, < Truly Sarah thy wife shall bear to thee a 
son, and thou shalt call his name Isaac ; and I will establish My Covenant 
with him for a perpetual Covenant to his seed after him. 20 And as for 
Ishmael, I have heard thee. Lo ! I bless him and make him fruitful and 
multiply him exceedingly ; twelve princes shall he beget, and I give him for 
a great nation. 21 But My Covenant will I establish with Isaac, whom Sarah 
shall bear to thee at this season in the following year.' 22 And ELOHIM 
finished to speak with him, and ELOHIM went-up from Abraham. 

23 And Abraham took Ishmael his son, and all the children of his house, 
and all the purchase of his silver, every male among the men of Abraham's 
house; and he circumcised the flesh of his foreskin on that very day, as 
ELOHIM had spoken to him. 24 And Abraham was ninety-and-nine years old 
at his being circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. 25 And Ishmael his son 
was thirteen years old at his being circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. 
26 On that very day was Abraham circumcised, and Ishmael his son. 27 And 
all the men of his house, child of the house and purchase of silver from the 
son of a stranger, were circumcised with him. || 

XZX. 29 And it came to pass, at ELOHIM'S destroying the cities of the 
circuit, then ELOHIM remembered Abraham, and He sent forth Lot out ol 
the midst of the overthrow at His overthrowing the cities in which Lot dwelt. || 

XXZZ. 2 And Sarah conceived and bare a son to his old-age, according to 
the season which ELOHIM had spoken of with him. 3 And Abraham called 
the name of his son that was born to him, whom Sarah bare to him, Isaac. 
4 And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac, eight days old, as ELOHIM had 
commanded him. ^ And Abraham was a hundred years old at Isaac his son's 
being born to him. || 

XXIZI. lAnd the life of Sarah was a hundred and twenty and seven 
years, the years of the life of Sarah. 2 And Sarah died in Kirjath-Arba|| in 
the land of Canaan ; and Abraham came to mourn over Sarah and to weep for 
her. 3 And Abraham arose from before his dead, and spake unto the sons of 
Heth, saying, ^ < a sojourner and dweller am I with you : give me a posses- 
sion of a burial-place with you, and I will bury my dead from before me.' 

* z/. 1 7 seems to be interpolated, since Al«-aham has already 'fallen upon his 
face ' in ^-.3, and the phrase ' say in his heart ' is used in xxvii.4i(J), and nowhere 
else in the Pentateuch. 


*^ And the sons of Heth answered Abraham, saying, < Pray hear us, my lord : 
A prince of ELOHIM art thou in the midst of us : in the choice of our burial- 
places bury thy dead : no man of us will hold-back his burial-place from thee, 
that thou shouldst not bury thy dead.' 7 And Abraham arose and bowed- 
himself before the people of the land, to the sons of Heth. 8 And he spake 
with them, saying, ' If it is your (soul) pleasure for me to bury my dead from 
before me, hear me and entreat for me to Ephron son of Zohar, ^ that he may 
give me the cave of Machpelah which is his, which is in the extremity of 
his field : for full silver shall he give it me in the midst of you for a posses- 
sion of a burial-place.' 10 Now Ephron was dwelling in the midst of the sons 
of Heth. And Ephron the Hittite answered Abraham in the ears of the sons 
of Heth, before all entering at the gate of his city, saying, n * Nay, my lord ! 
hear me : the field I give thee, and the cave which is in it, to thee I give it : 
in the presence of the sons of my people I give it thee : bury thy dead.' 
12 And Abraham bowed-himself before the people of the land. isAnd he 
spake to Ephron in the ears of the people of the land, saying, ' If thou art 
indeed for giving it, pray hear me : I give the silver of the field : take it from 
me, that I may bury my dead there.' i* And Ephron answered Abraham, 
saying, is « Pray, my lord ! hear me : the land is four hundred shekels of 
silver: between me and thee what is that? so bury thy dead.' i^And Abraham 
hearkened unto Ephron ; and Abraham weighed for Ephron the silver which 
he spake in the ears of the sons of Heth, four hundred shekels of silver, 
current with the trader. i7 And the field of Ephron which was in Machpelah, 
which was (before) east of Mamre, the field, and the cave that was in it, and 
all the trees that were in the field, that were in all its border roundabout, 
stood 18 to Abraham for a purchase in the presence of the sons of Heth, among 
all entering at the gate of his city, i^ And afterwards Abraham buried Sarah 
his wife in the cave of the field of Machpelah eastward of Mamre j| in the land 
of Canaan. 20 And the field, and the cave that was in it, stood to Abraham 
for a possession of a burial-place from the sons of Heth.|| 

XXV. 7 And these are the days of the years of the life of Abraham which 
he lived, a hundred and seventy-and-five years. ^ And Abraham gave-up-the- 
ghost, and died in good grey hairs, old and full of years, and was gathered 
unto his people. ^ And Isaac and Ishmael, his sons, buried him in the cave 
of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron son of Zohar the Hittite, which ivas east- 
ward of Mamre, 10 the field which Abraham bought from the sons of Heth : 
there was buried Abraham and Sarah his wife. || 

12 And these are the generations of Ishmael, the son of Abraham, whom 
Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah's maid, bare to Abraham. 

13 And these are the names of the sons of Ishmael, by their names, according 
to their generations : the firstborn of Ishmael, Nebaioth, and Kedar, and 
Adbeel, and Mibsam, i* and Mishma, and Dumah, and Massa, is and Hadar, 
and Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah. is These are the sons of Ishmael, 
and these are their names, by their villages and by their kraals, twelve 
princes after their folks. 

17 And these arc the years of the life of Ishmael, a hundred and thirty-and- 


seven years; and he gave-up-the-ghost and died, and was gathered to his 
people. II 

19 And these are the generations of Isaac the son of Abraham. 

Abraham begat Isaac. 20 ^nd Isaac was forty years old at his taking him 
for wife Kebekah, the daughter of Bethuel the Syrian, out of Padan-Aram, 
the sister of Laban the Syrian. || 2ib a.^^ Rebekah his wife conceived; || 24 and 
her days were fulfilled to bear, and lo ! twins in her womb ! 25 And the first 
came-forth red, all of him, as a mantle of hair, and they called his name 
Esau. 26 And afterwards came-forth his brother, and his hand grasping upon 
the heel of Esau; and (one called his name=) his name was called Jacob; and 
Isaac was sixty years old at her bearing them. || 

XXVX. 34 And Esau was forty years old and he took to wife Judith, the 
daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Basmath, the daughter of Elon the Hittite. 
35 And they were a bitterness of spirit to Isaac and to Rebekah. 

XXVXXX. lAnd Isaac called unto Jacob, and blessed him, and charged him, 
and said to him, ' Thou shalt not take a wife out of the daughters of Canaan. 
2 Arise, go to Padan-Aram, to the house of Bethuel thy mother's father ; and 
take to thee from thence a wife out of the daughters of Laban thy mother's 
brother. 3 And EL-SHADDAI bless thee, and make thee fruitful, and multi- 
ply thee, that thou mayst become a company of peoples, ^ and give thee the 
blessing of Abraham, to thee and to thy seed with thee, to thy inheriting the 
land of thy sojournings which ELOHIM gave to Abraham ! ' ^ So Isaac sent- 
away Jacob, and he went to Padan-Aram, unto Laban, the son of Bethuel the 
Aramaean, the brother of Rebekah, the mother of Jacob and Esau. 

6 And Esau saw that Isaac had blessed Jacob, and had sent-him-away to 
Padan-Aram, to take him from thence a wife— in blessing him too he charged 
him, saying, < Thou shalt not take a wife out of the daughters of Canaan' — 
7 and Jacob hearkened unto his father and unto his mother, and went to 
Padan-Aram. 8 And Esau saw that the daughters of Canaan were evil in the 
eyes of Isaac his father. 9 And Esau went unto Ishmael, and took him to 
wife Mahalath, the daughter of Ishmael, the son of Abraham, the sister of 
Nebaioth, besides his other wives. || 

[Here occurs the first hiatus in the Elohistic Narrative, the original account of 
Jacob's marriage — probably as brief as that of Isaac's marriage in xxv. 16 — having 
apparently been removed, to make way for the circumstantial narrative of the 
Jehovist in xxix. Some fragments, however, of the older story seem to have 
been retained, as below ; and probably the births of all Jacob's sons, including 
Benjamin, xxxv.24, were here given, though now much overlaid by Jehovistic 
insertions. Thus xxx.22 is certainly Elohistic, conip. G.viii, i, xix. 29, E.ii.24; 
and, as the story now stands, the names of Zebulun and Joseph are twice 

XXXX. 24 And Laban gave to her Zilpah his maid, to Leah his daughter 
for maid. || . . . 29 And Laban gave to Rachel his daughter Bilhah his maid 
for maid. II . . . 32abAnd Leah conceived and bare a son, and she called his 


name Reuben. ]| 33ad And she conceived again and bare a son,|| and she called 
his name Simeon. 34a ^nd she conceived again and bare a son, || . . . 35ad_A.nd 
she conceived again and bare a son, || . . . and she stood from bearing. 

XXX. la, And Rachel saw that she bare not to Jacob, !| * and she gave to 
him Bilhah her maid for wife.|| ^And Bilhah conceived and bare to Jacob a 
son. 6a And Rachel saii, » Elohim hath judged me.'|| . . . "^And Bilhah, 
Rachel's maid, conceived again, and bare a second son to Jacob, sac And 
Rachel said, ' With wrestlings of ELOHIM have I wrestled with my sister,' I| 
and she called his name Naphtali. 

8 And Leah saw that she had stood from bearing; and she took Zilpah her 
maid, and gave her to Jacob for wife. 10 And Zilpah, Leah's maid, bare to 
Jacob a son. 11 And Leah said, ' A troop ! ' and she called his name Gad. 
12 And Zilpah, Leah's maid, bare a second son to Jacob. i3And Leah said, 
« My blessing ! for daughters will bless me ' ; and she called his name Asher.|| 

17 And ELOHIM hearkened unto Leah, and she conceived, and bare to Jacob 
a fifth son. is And Leah said, 'ELOHIM hath given me my hire, because I 
have given my maid to my husband ' ; and she called his name Issachar. 
19 And Leah conceived again, and bare a sixth son to Jacob. 20 And Leah 
said, ' ELOHIM hath presented me with a good present,' || and she called his 
name Zebulun. 21 And afterwards she bare a daughter, and she called her 
name Dinah. 

22 And ELOHIM remembered Rachel, and ELOHIM hearkened unto her, and 
opened her womb. 23 And she conceived and bare a son, and she said, 
< ELOHIM hath gathered my reproach!' 24 And she called his name Joseph. || 

XXXZ. 17a And Jacob arose, || . . . is and he led away all his cattle, and 
all his gain which he had gotten, the cattle of his property, which he had 
gotten in Padan-Aram, to go unto Isaac his father, to the land of Canaan. || 

XXXV. 9 And ELOHIM appeared unto Jacob again,* at his coming from 
Padan-Aram, and spake with him. 10 And ELOHIM said to him, ' Thy name 
is Jacob : thy name shall not be called any longer Jacob, but Israel shall be 
thy name ' ; and He called his name Israel, n And ELOHIM said to him, ' I 
am EL-SHADDAI : be fruitful and multiply : a nation and a company of 
nations shall be out of thee, and kings shall go-forth out of thy loins. 12 And 
the land which I gave to Abraham and to Isaac, to thee will I give it, and to 
thy seed after thee will I give the land.' i3 And ELOHIM went-up from him 
in the place where He spake with him. i^And Jacob set-up a pillar in the 
place where He spake with him, a pillar of stone ; and he dropped upon it a 
drink-oifering, and poured oil upon it. i^ And Jacob called the name of the 
place where ELOHIM spake with him Beth-El. 

16a And they set-off from Beth-El, and it was still a space of land to come 

* This seems to mean that this was a second appearance of Elohim, and this 
time He appeared to Jacob, and made a fresh promise of the land to him and to 
his seed, as formerly to Abraham and Isaac and their descendants, xvii. 1,8, 19. 
There is no record of any 'appearance' to Isaac, comp. xxviii.4. 


to Ephratli.ll iQ And Rachel died, and was buried in the way of Ephrath.|| 
20 And Jacob set-up a pillar upon her grave. || 

22b And the sons of Jacob were twelve; 23 the sons of Leah, Jacob's first- 
born, Reuben, and Simeon, and Levi, and Judah, and Issachar, and Zebulun ; 
24 the sons of Rachel, Joseph and Benjamin; 25 and the sons of Bilhah, 
Rachel's handmaid, Dan and Naphtali ; 26 and the sons of Zilpah, Leah's 
handmaid, Gad and Asher. These are the sons of Jacob, which were born to 
him in Padan-Aram. 

27 And Jacob came unto Isaac his father, to Mamre, the city of Arba, |j where 
Abraham sojourned, and Isaac, 28 And the days of Isaac were a hundred and 
eighty years. 29 And Isaac gave-up-the-ghost, and died, and was gathered 
unto his people, old and full of days ; and Esau and Jacob, his sons, buried 

XXXVZ. 1 And these are the generations of Esau, that is, Edom. 

2 Esau took his wives of the daughters of Canaan, Adah, daughter of Elon 
the Hittite, and Aholibamah, daughter of Anah, son of Zibeon the Hivite, 
8 and Basmath, daughter of Ishmael, sister of Nebaioth. * And Adah bare to 
Esau Eliphaz, and Basmath bare Reuel, 5 and Aholibamah bare Jeush, and 
Jaalam, and Kerah. These are the sons of Esau, which were born to him in 
the land of Canaan. 

6 And Esau took his wives and his sons and his daughters, and all the souls 
of his house, and his cattle and all his beasts, and all his gain which he had 
gotten in the land of Canaan, and went unto the land [of Seir] because of 
Jacob his brother. 7 por their gain was plentiful above living together, and 
the land of their sojourning was not able to bear them because of their cattle. 
8 And Esau dwelt in Mount Seir : Esau, he is Edom. 

8 And these are the generations of Esau, the father of Edom, in Mount 

10 These are the names of the sons of Esau — Eliphaz, the son of Adah, 
Esau's wife, Reuel, the son of Basmath, Esau's wife. 

11 And the sons of Eliphaz, Teman, Omar, Zepho, and Gatam, and Kenaz. 
12 And Timnah was concubine to Eliphaz, Esau's son, and she bear to Eliphaz 
Amalek. These are the sons of Adah, Esau's wife. 

13 And these the sons of Reuel, Nahath and Zerah, Shammah and Mizzah. 
These were the sons of Basmath, Esau's wife. 

14 And these were the sons of Aholibamah, the daughter of Anah, grand- 
daughter of Zibeon, Esau's wife. And she bare to Esau Jeush and Jaalam 
and Korah. 

15 These are the dukes (? clans) of the sons of Esau. The sons of Eliphaz, 
Esau's firstborn, duke Teman, duke Omar, duke Zepho, duke Kenaz, i^jjuke 
Korah, duke Gatam, duke Amalek. These are the dukes of Eliphaz in the land 
of Edom ; these are the sons of Adah. 

17 And these the sons of Reuel, Esau's son, duke Nahath, duke Zerah, duke 
Shammah, duke Mizzah. These are the dukes of Reuel in the land of Edom ; 
these arc the sons of Basmath, Esau's wife. 


18 And these arc the sons of Aholibamah, Esau's wife, duke Jeush, duke 
Jaalam, duke Korah. These are the dukes of Aholibamah, daughter of Anah, 
Esau's wife. 

These are the sons of Esau, and these their dukes : he is Edom. |1 

31 And these are the kings who reigned in the land of Edom, before the 
reigning of a king over the children of Israel. 32 And there reigned in Edom 
Bela the son of Beor, and the name of his city was Dinhabah. 

33 And Bela died, and there reigned in his stead Jobab the son of Zerah, 
out of Bozrah. 

34 And Jobab died, and there reigned in his stead Husham, out of the land 
of the Temanite. 

35 And Husham died, and there reigned in his stead Hadad the son of Bedad, || 
and the name of his city was Avith. 

36 And Hadad died, and there reigned in his stead Samlah, out of Masrekah. 

37 And Samlah died, and there reigned in his stead Saul, out of Rehoboth 
of the River. 

38 And Saul died, and there reigned in his stead Baal-Hanan son of Achbor. 

39 And Baal-Hanan son of Achbor died, and there reigned in his stead 
Hadad, and the name of his city was Pau, and the name of his wife was Me- 
hetabel, daughter of Matred, granddaughter of Mezahab. 

40 And these are the names of the dukes of Esau, according to their families, 
according to their places, by their names : — duke Timnah, duke Alvah, duke 
Jethath, 4iduke Aholibamah, duke Elah, duke Pinon, 42dukeKenaz, duke 
Teman, duke Mibzar, 43 duke Magdiel, duke Iram. These are the dukes of 
Edom, according to their dwellings in the land of their possession : he is 
Esau, the father of Edom. 

XXXVZZ. 1 And Jacob dwelt in the land of his father's sojournings, in 
the land of Canaan. 

2a These are the generations of Jacob. 

Joseph, seventeen years old, was tending with his brethren among the 
flocks, and he was a lad with the sons of Bilhah and with the sons of Zilpah, 
his father's wives, p . . . 28a And there passed-over Midianites, merchantmen. 11 

* No part of the present history of Joseph before Jacob's descent into Egypt, 
xlvi.6,7, belongs to the Elohist, except v. 22, and perhaps z/. 28a, 36, as above, where 
* Midianites ' are named instead of ' Ishmaelites,' as in z'.25,27. The 'sons of 
Bilhah and sons of Zilpah,' z'. 2a, appear no more in the story. As the Elohist 
knows nothing of any ill-blood between Sarah and Hagar, Ishmael and Isaac, 
Esau and Jacob, Leah and Rachel, so he probably knew of none between Joseph 
and his brethren, and may have represented Joseph as having been merely kid- 
napped and carried off into Egypt by the Midianites, while out one day, with 
ox{\.y four of his brethren, tending his father's sheep. A very few words may have 
sufficed for this, e.g., 'and there passed-over Midianites, merchantmen, [and they 
saw Joseph and laid hold on him and took him,] and the Midianites sold him into 


30 And the Midianites sold him into Egypt, to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, 
captain of the guard. || . . . 

xiiVi. 6 And they took their cattle and their gain which they had gotten 
in the land of Canaan, and they came to Egypt, Jacob and all his seed with 
him, 7 His sons and his sons' sons with him, his daughters and his sons' 
daughters, and all his seed, brought he with him to Egypt. 

8 And these are the names of the sons of Israel that came to Egypt, Jacob 
and his sons ; Jacob's firstborn, Reuben ; 9 and the sons of Eeuben, Enoch 
and Pallu, Hezron and Carmi. lo And the sons of Simeon, Jemuel, and 
Jamin, and Ohad, and Jachin, and Zohar, and Saul son of the Canaanitess. 
11 And the sons of Levi, Gershon, and Kohath, and Merari. 12 And the sons 
of Judah, Er, and Onan, and Shelah, and Pharez, and Zarah.|| is And the 
sons of Issachar, Tola, and Phuvah, and Job, and Shimron. 1* And the sons 
of Zebulun, Sered, and Elon, and Jahleel. is These are the sons of Leah, 
which she bare to Jacob in Padan-Aram, and Dinah his daughter, all the 
souls of his sons and daughters, thirty-three. 

16 And the sons of Gad, Ziphion, and Haggi, Shuni, and Ezbon, Eri, and 
Arodi, and Areli. i^And the sons of Asher, Jimnah, and Ishuah, and Isui, 
and Beriah, and Serah their sister ; and the sons of Beriah, Heber and Mal- 
chiel. 18 These are the sons of Zilpah, whom Laban gave to Leah his daughter, 
and she bare these to Jacob, sixteen souls. 

19 The sons of Eachel, Jacob's wife, Joseph and Benjamin. 20 ^.nd there 
were born to Joseph in the land of Egypt, whom Asenath daughter of Poti- 
pherah priest of On bare to him, Manasseh and Ephraim. 21 And the sons of 
Benjamin, Bela, and Becher, and Ashbel, Gera, and Naaman, Ehi and Bosh, 
Muppim, and Huppim, and Ard. 22 These are the sons of Rachel, which were 
born to Jacob, all the souls fourteen. 

23 And the sons of Dan, Hushim. 24 And the sons of Naphtali, Jabzeel, and 
Guni, and Jezer, and Shillem. 25 These are the sons of Bilhah, whom Laban 
gave to Rachel his daughter, and she bare these to Jacob, all the souls seven. 

26 AH the souls of Jacob that came to Egypt, coming-forth out of his loins, || 
all the souls were sixty-and-six. 27 And the sons of Joseph, which were born 
to him in Egypt, were two souls. All the souls of the house of Jacob that 
came to Egypt were seventy. || 

XXiVII. 7 And Joseph brought Jacob his father, and stationed him before 
Pharaoh, and Jacob blessed Pharaoh. 8 And Pharaoh said unto Jacob, 'About 
what are the days of the years of thy life "S ' » And Jacob said unto Pharaoh, 
< The days of the years of my sojournings are a hundred and thirty years ; 
few and evil have been the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the 
days of their sojournings.' 10 And Jacob blessed Pharaoh, and went-forth 
from before Pharaoh. 

Egypt, &c.' The Elohist must then have stated how Joseph came to be high in 
office under Pharaoh, and how his father and brethren heard of his being alive, 
and went down to settle in Eg}'pt — these points being referred to in the following 
portion of the Elohistic Narrative. 


Had And Joseph settled his father and his brethren || in the land of Rameses;'| 
27b and they were fruitful and multiplied exceedingly. 28 And Jacob lived in 
the land of Egypt seventeen years, and Jacob's days of the years of his life 
were a hundred and forty-seven years. || 

XX.VZZX. 3 And Jacob said unto Joseph, « EL-SHADDAI appeared unto me 
at Luz in the land of Canaan and blessed me, ^and said unto me, " Lo! I will 
make thee fruitful and multiply thee, and (give) make thee for a company of 
peoples; and I will give this land to thy seed after thee, a perpetual posses- 
sion." 6 And now, thy two sons, which were born to thee in the land of 
Egypt before my coming unto thee to Egypt, they are mine, Ephraim and 
Manasseh : even as Reuben and Simeon they shall be mine. ^ And thy off- 
spring, which thou hast begotten after them, shall be thine ; by the names of 
their brothers shall they be called in their inheritance. 'And I, at my 
coming from Padan, — Rachel died beside me in the land of Canaan, when 
there was yet a space of land to come to Ephrath, and I buried her in the 
way to Ephrath.' II 

XZiZX. la And Jacob called unto his sons,|| 29 and he charged them, and 
said unto them, < I shall be gathered to my people ; bury me unto my fathers 
in the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite, 30 in the cave that is in 
the field of Machpelah, which is east of Mamre, in the land of Canaan, which 
Abraham bought with the field from Ephron the Hittite for a possession of a 
burial-place, si There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife ; there they 
buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife; and there I buried Leah. 32 The purchase 
of the field and of the cave that is in it was from the sons of Heth.' ss And 
Jacob ended to charge his sons, aad he was gathered unto his people. || 
Xi. 13 And his sons carried him to the land of Canaan, and buried him in the 
cave of the field of Machpelah, which Abraham bought with the field for a 
possession of a burial-place from Ephron the Hittite, east of Mamre. || 


Z. 1 And these are the names of the children of Israel, who came to 
Egypt with Jacob, each and his house they came — 2 Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and 
Judah, 3issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin, ^Dan and Naphtali, Gad and 
Asher. ^ And all the souls that went-forth out of Jacob's thigh were seventy 
Bouls ; and Joseph was in Egypt. 

6 And Joseph died, and all his brethren, and all that generation. 'And 
the children of Israel were fruitful and teemed and multiplied, and were ex- 
ceedingly mighty ; and the land was filled with them. || i3 And the Egyptians 
made the children of Israel to serve with rigour. || ZZ. 23b And the children 
of Israel sighed because of the service, and they cried ; and their wail went- 
up unto ELOHIM because of the service. 24 And ELOHIM heard their sighing, 
and ELOHIM remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with 
Jacob. 25 And ELOHIM saw the children of Israel, and ELOHIM knew.|| 


VI. 2 And ELOHIM spake unto Moses ♦ and said unto Mm, < I am JEHOVAH, 
s And I appeared unto Abraham and unto Isaac and unto Jacob by the name 
EL-SHADDAI ; but by My name JEHOVAH I did not make-myself known to 
them. •* And I have also established My Covenant with them, to give to them 
the land of Canaan, the land of their sojournings in which they sojourned. 
6 And I have also heard the sighing of the children of Israel, whom the 
Egyptians make to serve, and I have remembered My Covenant. . . . 

[Here the Elohistic Narrative ends abruptly, having been broken off perhaps 
through the sickness or death of the writer, or perhaps because he had completed 
the special work which he had set himself to do, viz. to record the history of the 
primeval times, down to the revelation of the name Jehovah at the time of the 

* The Elohist here mentions Moses for the first time in what now remains of his 
work, and may have given a short notice about his birth between this passage and 
ii,23b-25, which the Jehovist has replaced by his more circumstantial narrative. 
But this assumption is not absolutely necessary. We see that Joshua is introduced 
quite as abruptly by the Jehovist in E.xvii.g and Hur vsxv lo. 


N.B. The sign || denotes that hci'e an interpolation occurs in the Original Story. 
The passages within [ J belong to the Elohistic Narrative. 

I. [lAnd these are the names of the children of Israel, who came to 
Egypt with Jacob, — each and his house they came : 2 Reuben, Simeon, Levi, 
and Judah, ^issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin, ^Dan and Naphtali, Gad and 
Asher. ^ And all the souls that went-forth out of Jacob's thigh were seventy 
souls ; and Joseph was in Egypt. 

6 And Joseph died, and all his brethren, and all that generation. ' And 
the children of Israel fructified and teemed and multiplied, and were exceed- 
ingly mighty ; and the land wa5 filled with them.] « And there arose a new 
king over Egypt, who knew not Joseph. ^ And he said unto his people, * Lo ! 
the people of the children of Israel are more numerous and mighty than we. 
'° Come on 1 let us deal-wisely with it, lest it multiply, and it come-to-pass, when 
war happeneth, that it join-itself, it also, to our foes, and fight against us, and 
go-up out of the land.' "And they placed over it princes of tribute so as to 
afflict it with their burdens ; and it built store-cities for Pharaoh, Pithom and 
Rameses. '^ And, as they afflicted it, so it multiplied, and so it broke-forth ; and 
they were vexed because of the children of Israel. [^^ And the Egyptians made 
the children of Israel to serve with rigour.*] "And they embittered their 
lives with hard service, in clay, and in brick, and in all kind of service in the 
field : all their service, which they (sei-ved) laid upon them, they laid with 
rigour. + 

* This would be tame, if written by the same hand which had already written 

t J. explains here the statement of E. in z'. 13, showing in what the 'service' 
consisted, in agreement with his own previous words in i'. ii. 


•* And the king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, (of whom the name of 
the one was Shiphrah, and the name of the second was Puah), '^ and he said, 

* When ye help the Hebrew-women to bear, and see at the troughs, if it is a son, 
then put-him to-death, and, if it is a daughter, then let her live.' ''And the 
midwives feared Elohim, and did not do as the king of Egypt spake unto them, 
but let the boys live. '* And the king of Egypt called for the midwives and said 
to them, 'Why have ye done this thing, and let the boys live?' '^And the 
midwives said unto Pharaoh, ' Because the Hebrew-women are not as the 
Egyptian-women, for they are lively : before the midwife cometh-in unto them 
they have borne.' 

2" And Elohim did-good to the midwives, and the people multiplied, and they 
were very mighty, ^i ^j-^j \<^ came-to-pass, because the midwives feared Elohim, 
that He made for them households. ^^ And Pharaoh commanded all his people 
saying, ' Every son that is born — ye shall cast him into the River, and every 
daughter ye shall let live. ' 

II. * And there went a man of the house of Levi, and took to wife a daughter 
of Levi. * 2 ^nd the woman conceived and bare a son, and she saw that he was 
fair, and she hid him three months. ^ And she was not able to hide him any 
longer, and she took for him an ark of rushes, and daubed it with bitumen and 
w;th pitch, and placed the boy in it, and placed it in the weeds by the brink 
of the River. '' And his sister stood some-way-ofF, to know what would be done 
to him. 

* And the daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe by the River, and her 
damsels were walking by the side of the River ; and she saw the ark in the midst 
of the weeds, and sent her handmaid, and took it. ^ And she opened and saw 
him, the boy, and lo ! a child weeping ! and she had pity on him and said, * This 
is one of the boys of the Hebrews.' ' And his sister said unto Pharaoh's daughter, 

* Shall I go and call thee a suckling-woman of the Hebrews, that she may suckle 
the boy for thee ? ' ^ And Pharaoh's daughter said to her, ' Go ! ' and the maiden 
went, and called the boy's mother. ^ And Pharaoh's daughter said to her, * Take 
this boy away, and suckle him for me, and I — I will give thy hire ' ; and the 
woman took the boy and suckled him. '" And the boy grew, and she brought - 
him-in to Pharaoh's daughter, and he was to her for a son ; and she called his 
name Moses {Afosheh), and said, * Because I have drawn (inashah) him out of the 
water. ' 

" And it came to pass in those days that Moses grew, and he went-forth unto 
his brethren, and looked at their burdens, and he saw an Egyptian man smiting a 
Hebrew man, one of his brethren. '^ And he turned-his-face here and there, and 
saw that there was no man, and smote the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand. 
" And he went-forth on the second day, and lo ! two men, Hebrews, were con- 
tending; and he said to the wrong-doer, ' W^herefore smitest thou thy neighbour?' 
" And he said, * Who placed thee as a prince and a judge over us ? Art thou 
thinking to slay me as thou didst slay the Egyptian ? ' And Moses feared and 

* The writer, who speaks merely of a * man of the house of Levi, ' and who 
calls the woman ' a daughter of Levi,' ' the woman,' z'.2,9, ' the child's mother,' 
v.2>, evidently knew nothing of the names of their parents * Amram ' and ' Joche* 
bed,' which are due to the L.L., vi.20, N.xxvi,59. 


said, ' Surely the matter is known.' '* And Pliaraoh heard of this matter and 
thought to slay Moses ; and Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh, and dwelt in 
the land of Midian. 

And he sat down by the well. " Now a prince of Midian had seven daughters ; 
and they came and drew and filled the troughs, to water their father's flock. 
*' And the shepherds came and drove-them-away ; and Moses arose and saved 
them, and watered their flock. '^ And they came-in to Reuel, their father, and 
he said, ' Why have ye hastened to come-in to-day?' *^ And they said, 'An 
Egyptian man delivered us out of the hands of the shepherds, and also drew 
plentifully for us, and watered the flock. ' ^o ^j^,^ j^g g^^j^^ ^^^^.q j^jg daughters, 
* And where is he ? Wherefore is this that ye left the man ? call him that he may 
eat bread.' 21 ^^d Moses was willing to dwell with the man, and he gave 
Zipporah his daughter to Moses. '^'^ And. she bare a son, and she called him 
Gershom ; for he said, * A sojourner [ger) have I been in a strange land.' 

" And it came to pass in those many days that the king of Egypt died. [And 
the children of Israel sighed because of the service,* and they cried; and 
their wail went-up unto ELOHIM because of the service. 24 And ELOHIM 
heard their sighing, and ELOHIM remembered His covenant with Abraham, 
with Isaac, and with Jacob. 25 And ELOHIM saw the children of Israel, and 
ELOHIM knew .] 

III. ' And Moses was feeding the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, prince of 
Midian ; and he led the flock behind the wilderness, and came unto the Mount of 
Elohim. II ^ And there appeared unto him an angel of Yahveh in a flame of fire 
out of the midst of the thorn-bush ; and he saw and lo ! the thorn-bush was 
burning with fire, and the thorn-bush was not devoured. ^ And Moses said, * Let 
me turn- aside, I pray, and see this great appearance, why the thorn-bush is not 
burnt.' * And Yahveh saw that he turned-aside to see, and Elohim called unto 
him out of the midst of the bush and said, ' Moses ! Moses ! ' And he said, 
' Behold me ! ' ^ And He said, ' Come not near hither ; cast thy shoes from off 
thy feet, for the place on which thou art standing is holy ground. ' ^ And He 
said, ' I am the Elohim of thy father, the Elohim of Abraham, the Elohim of 
Isaac, and the Elohim of Jacob. ' And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to 
behold Elohim. ^ And Yahveh said, ' I have verily seen the affliction of My 
people who are in Egypt, and their cry have I heard because of its exactors ; for 
I know its woes. ^ And I have come-down to deliver it out of the hand of the 
Egyptians, and to bring-it-up out of that land unto a land good and large, unto 
a land flowing with milk and honey. || ^ And now, lo ! the cry of the children of 
Israel has come-in unto me, and I have also seen the oppression wherewith the 
Egyptians are oppressing them. '" And now, come, and I will send thee unto 
Pharaoh, and bring-thou-forth My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.* 
" And Moses said unto Elohim, * Who am I that I should go unto Pharaoh, and 
that I should bring-forth the children of Israel out of Egypt ?' '^ And He said, 
' For I will be with thee ; and this shall be the sign for thee that I have sent thee : 
at thy bringing-forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve Elohim by this 
Mount.' '^ And Moses said unto Elohim, ' Lo ! zchefi I come unto the children 

* This so obviously refers to the words in i.13, and not ii. i-23a, that the 
interpolation of the Jehovist is distinctly betrayed^ 


of Israel, and shall say to them, the Elohim of your fathers hath sent me unto 
you, and they shall say to me. What is His Name ? what shall I say unto them ? ' 
"And Elohim said unto Moses, 'I AM WHO I AM': and He said, 'Thus 
shalt thou say to the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.' 

»* And Elohim said again unto Moses, ' Thus shalt thou say unto the children 
of Israel, Yahveh, the Elohim of. your fathers, the Elohim of Abraham, the 
Elohim of Isaac, and the Elohim of Jacob, hath sent me unto you : this is My 
Name for ever, and this My memorial for generation and generation. '*Go, and 
thou shalt gather the elders of Israel, and thou shalt say unto them, Yahveh, the 
Elohim of your fathers, hath appeared unto me, the Elohim of Abraham, Isaac, 
and Jacob, saying, I have surely visited you, and that which is done to you in 
Egypt. *' And I have said, I will bring-you-up out of the affliction of Egypt || 
unto a land flowing with milk and honey. '^ And they shall hearken to thy voice, 
and thou shalt go-in, thou and the elders of Israel, unto the king of Egypt, and 
ye shall say unto him, Yahveh, the Elohim of the Hebrews, hath met with us ; 
and now, let us go, we pray, a journey of three days into the wilderness, and 
sacrifice to Yahveh our Elohim. '^ And I — I know that the king of Egypt will 
not (give) allow you to go, not even by a strong hand, ^o ^^d I will put -forth 
My hand, and will smite Egypt with all My marvels, which I will do in the midst 
of it, and afterwards he will let-you-go. ^^ And I will put the favour of this 
people in the eyes of the Egyptians, and it shall come to pass, when ye go, that 
ye shall not go empty ; 22 and every woman shall ask from her neighbour, and 
from her who sojourneth in her house, articles of silver and articles of gold and 
garments, and ye shall place them on your sons and on your daughters, and ye 
shall spoil the Egyptians.' 

IV. 1 And Moses answered and said, * But lo ! they will not believe me, and 
they will not hearken unto my voice, for they will say Yahveh hath not appeared 
unto thee. ' ^ And Yahveh said unto him, * What is this in thy hand ? ' And he 
said, 'A staflf,' ^ And He said, 'Cast it to the earth': and he cast it to the 
earth, and it became a serpent, and Moses fled from its presence. ■* And Yahveh 
said unto Moses, ' Put-forth thy hand, and lay-hold on its tail,' — and he put-forth 
his hand, and laid-hold on it ; and it became a staff in his palm — ^ ' so that they 
may believe that Yahveh the Elohim of their fathers, the Elohim of Abraham, the 
Elohim of Isaac, and the Elohim of Jacob, hath appeared unto thee. ' 

* And Yahveh said unto him again, ' Put-in, I pray, thy hand into thy bosom' ; 
and he put-in his hand into his bosom, and he brought -it-forth, and lo ! his hand 
w^j- leprous like snow. ^And He said, ' Put-back thy hand into thy bosom,' — 
and he put-back his hand into his bosom, and he brought-it-forth from his 
bosom, and lo ! it had returned like his other flesh — * * and it shall come to pass, 
if they will not believe thee, and will not hearken to the voice of the first sign, 
that they will believe the voice of the second sign. ^ And it shall come to pass, 
if they will not believe also these tw^o signs, and will not hearken to thy voice, 
that thou shalt take of the waters of the River and pour on the dry-land ; and it 
shall be, the water which thou shalt take out of the River, — yea, it shall become 
blood upon the dry-land.' 

'° And Moses said unto Yahveh, ' Oh my Lord ! I a^n not a man of words 
either yesterday or before, or since Thy speaking unto Thy servant ; for I am 
slow of mouth and slow of tongue.' " And Yahveh said unto him, 'Who has 


(placed) made a mouth for man ? or who shall make dumb or deaf or open-eyed 
or blind ? is it not Yahveh ? '^ And now, go, and I will be with thy mouth, and 
will direct thee what thou shalt speak.' " And he said, ' O my Lord ! send, I 
pray, by the hand 0/ him whom Thou wilt send.' '* And Yahveh's anger was 
kindled against Moses, and He said, ' Is not Aaron the Levite thy brother ? I 
know that he will certainly speak, and also, lo ! he cometh-forth to meet thee, 
and he will see thee and rejoice in his heart. ''* And thou shalt speak unto him, 
and thou shalt place words in his mouth, and I will be with thy mouth and with 
his mouth, and will direct you what ye shall do. '^ And he shall speak for thee 
unto the people, and it shall come to pass that he shall become to thee a mouth 
and thou shalt become to him Elohim. ^' And this staff thou shalt take in thy 
hand, wherewith thou shalt do the signs.' 

'^And Moses went and returned unto Jethro his father-in-law, and said to 
him, ' Let me go, I pray, and return to my brethren who are in Egypt, and see 
whether they are yet alive.' And Jethro said to Moses, * Go in peace,' '^ And 
Yahveh said to Moses in Midian,* ' Go, return to Egypt, for all the men are 
dead who sought thy life.' 2" And Moses took his wife and his sons (? son), 
and made them ride on the ass, and returned to the land of Egypt, and Moses 
took the staff of Elohim in his hand, ^i And Yahveh said unto Moses, ' At thy 
going to return to Egypt, see, all these wonders that I put in thy hand, that thou 
do them before Pharaoh ; but I will harden his heart, and he will not let the 
people go. " And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, ' Thus saith Yahveh, My son, 
My firstborn, is Israel. -^And I say unto thee, Let My son go that he may serve 
Me ; but, refuse to let him go, lo ! I slay thy son, thy firstborn.' '^^And it came to 
pass in the way, at the resting-place, that Yahveh lighted on him, and sought to 
kill him. " And Zipporah took a flint, and cut-off the foreskin of her son, and 
threw it at his feet, and said, ' Surely a bridegroom of blood art thou to me.' 
26 And He desisted from him ; then she said, 'a bridegroom of blood,' because of 
the circumcision, 

2' And Yahveh said unto Aaron, * Go to the wilderness to meet Moses ' : and 
he went, and lighted on Moses at the Mount of Elohim and kissed him. '^ And 
Moses told to Aaron all the words of Yahveh with which He had sent him, and 
all the signs which He had commanded him. -^ And Moses went and Aaron, and 
they gathered all the Elders of the children of Israel. ^^ And Aaron spake all the 
words which Yahveh had spoken with Moses, and he [Moses] did the signs 
before the eyes of the people. ^' And the people believed, and they heard that 
Yahveh had visited the children of Israel, and that he had seen their afflic- 
tion, and they bowed-the-head and worshipped. 

V. ' And afterwards Moses and Aaron went-in and they said unto Pharaoh, 
' Thus saith Yahveh, the Elohim of Israel, Let My people go, that they may 
keep a Feast to Me in the wilderness.' ^ And Pharaoh said, * Who is Yahveh, 
that I should hearken to His voice to let Israel go ? I know not Y.a.hveh, and 
also Israel I will not let go.' ^ And they said, ' The Elohim of the Hebrews hath 

* The previous call of Moses, and the directions given to him, were, therefore, 
only preparatory ; when the proper moment was come, Moses received a divine 
notice 'in Midian,' where he was with Jethro, having already obtained his con- 
sent to his going. 

D D 


met with us : let us go, we pray, a journey of three days in the wilderness and 
sacrifice to Yahveh our Elohim, lest He fall upon us with pestilence or with 
sword.' * And the king of Egypt said unto them, 'Wherefore do ye, Moses and 
Aaron, set the people free from its M'orks : go ye to your burdens.' ^And 
Pharaoh said, ' Lo ! numerous now is the people of the land, and ye make them 
rest from their burdens,' 

^ And Pharaoh commanded on that day the exactors among the people and its 
officers, saying, ^ ' Ye shall not add to give straw to the people for the making of 
bricks as heretofore ; let them go and collect straw for themselves. « And the tale 
of brick which they zvere making heretofore shall ye lay upon them, ye shall not 
diminish from it ; for idle are they : therefore are they crying, saying, Let us go, 
let us sacrifice to our Elohim. ^ Let the service be heavy upon the men, and let 
them work at it, and let them not regard lying words.' 

^° And the exactors of the people and its officers went-forth and said unto the 
people, saying, 'Thus saith Pharaoh, I give you no straw : " do ye go, take for 
yourselves straw from what ye find ; for there is nothing diminished from your 
service.' '^ ^^^^j ^-^^ people was scattered through all the land of Egypt, to 
collect stubble for straw. '^ And the exactors were urgent, saying, ' Finish your 
works, the matter of a day in its day, as when there was straw.' '*And the 
officers of the children of Israel, whom Pharaoh's exactors had placed over them, 
were beaten, saying, ' Why have ye not finished your portion, in making-bricks as 
heretofore, both yesterday and to-day ? ' •* And the officers of the children of 
Israel came-in and cried unto Pharaoh, saying, ' Wherefore doest thou thus to thy 
servants ? '^ Straw has not been given to thy servants, and they a7-e saying to us, 
Make-bricks ; and lo ! thy servants are beaten, but thy people have done the 
wrong.' •^ And he said, * Idle are ye, idle ! therefore are ye saying, Let us go, let us 
sacrifice to Yahveh. *« And now, go ye, serve ! for straw shall not be given to 
you, yet the tale of bricks shall ye give.' 

'^ And the officers of the children of Israel saw that they were in evil case, 
(saying) it being said, * Ye shall not diminish from your bricks, the matter of a 
day in its day.' ^o ^nd they lighted upon Moses and Aaron standing to meet 
them at their coming-forth from Pharaoh. '^^ And they said unto them, ' Let 
Yahveh look upon you and judge ; for ye have made our savour to stink in the 
e)'es of Pharaoh and in the eyes of his servants, to give a sword into their hand 
to slay us.' 

22 And Moses returned unto Yahveh and said, ' O Lord, wherefore hast Thou 
done evil to this people ? Wherefore is this that Thou sentest me ? ^3 Pqi- since 
I went-in unto Pharaoh to speak in Thy name, he has done-evil to this people, 
and Thou hast not at all delivered thy people.' VI. ' And Yahveh said unto Moses, 
' Now shalt thou see what I will do to Pharaoh ; for through a strong hand shall 
he let them go, and through a strong hand shall he drive them out of his land.' 
[2 And Elohim spake unto Moses and said unto him, ' I a;n YAHVEH. 3 And I 
appeared unto Abraham, and unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by EL-SHADDAI ; 
but by my Name YAHVEH I did not make-Myself -known to them. * And I 
have also established My covenant with them, to give to them the land of 
Canaan, the land of their sojournings in which they sojourned. ^And I 
have also heard the sighing of the children of Israel, whom the Egyptians 
make to serve, and I have remembered My covenant.'] || " And Moses spake 


so unto the children of Israel : and they hearkened not unto Moses for straitness 
of spirit and for hard service. || 

VII. •* And Yahveh said unto Moses, ' Pharaoh's heart is heavy ; he refuseth 
to let the people go. " Go unto Pharaoh in the morning : lo ! he goeth forth to 
the water : and thou shalt stand to meet him by the brink of the River, and the 
staff, which was turned to a serpent, thou shalt take in thy hand. "* And thou 
shalt say unto him, ' Yahveh, the Elohim of the Hebrews, hath sent me unto thee, 
saying, Let My people go that they may serve Me in the wilderness ; and lo ! 
thou hast not hearkened hitherto. '' Thus saith Yahveh, By this shalt thou know 
that I am Yahveh : lo ! I smite with the staff that is in my hand upon the waters 
that are in the River, and they shall be turned to blood. '* And the fish that are in 
the River shall die, and the River shall stink, and the Egyptians shall loath to drink 
water out of the River. ' || -<"> And he lifted-up with the staff and smote the waters 
that were in the River before the eyes of Pharaoh and before the eyes of his 
servants, and all the waters that Avere in the River were turned to blood. 2' And 
the fish that were in the River died, and all the River stank ; and the Egyptians 
were not able to drink water out of the River, and the blood was in all the land 
of Egypt. II 23 ^nd Pharaoh turned and went-into his house, and did not set his 
heart even to this. 2* And all the Egyptians dug round-about the River water to 
drink, for they were not able to drink of the waters of the River. 

"And there were fulfilled seven days after Yahveh's smiting the River. 
VIII. * And Yahveh said unto Moses, ' Go unto Pharaoh and say unto him, 
Thus saith Yahveh, Let My people go that they may serve Me. ^ And if thou 
refuse to let them go, lo ! I smite all thy borders with frogs. ' And the River 
shall teem with frogs, and they shall come-up and go-in into thy house, and into 
thy bed-room, and upon thy bed, and into the house of thy servants and upon thy 
people, and into thy ovens, and into thy trays. * And upon thee and upon thy 
people and upon thy servants shall the frogs come up. ' * . . . || ^ And Pharaoh 
called to Moses and to Aaron and said, ' Make-entreaty unto Yahveh that He 
take-away the frogs from me and from my people, and I will let the people 
go, that they may sacrifice to Yahveh.' ^ And Moses said to Pharaoh, * (Honour- 
thyself over me = ) Honour me by saying for when I shall make entreaty for thee 
and for thy servants and for thy people, to cut-off the frogs from thee and from thy 
house ; only in the River shall they be left.' *" And he said, ' For to-morrow ' ; 
and he said, 'According to thy word ! in order that thou mayest know that there is 
none like Yahveh our Elohim. " And the frogs shall go away from thee and from 
thy houses, and from thy servants, and from thy people ; only in the River shall 
they be left.' '^ ^^d Moses and Aaron went-forth from Pharaoh, and Moses 
cried unto Yahveh about the matter of the frogs which He had laid on Pharaoh. 
" And Yahveh did according to the word of Moses ; and the frogs died out of the 
houses, out of the villages, and out of the field. '^ And they collected them in 
heaps, heaps, and the land stank. '** And Pharaoh saw that there was breathing- 
time and he made-heavy his heart. || 

2° And Yahveh said unto Moses, * Rise-early in the morning, and station thyself 

* Here the original account of the frogs being- brought-up either by Moses 
acting with his rod or by a direct act of Yahveh, as in viii.24, ix.6, xii.29, has 
been struck out by L.L., to make room for the magnification of Aaron in J'. 5 -7. 


before Pharaoh : lo ! he goeth-forth to the water ; and thou shalt say unto him, 
* Thus saith Yahveh, Let My people go that they may serve Me. ^i Yqx if thou 
let not My people go, lo ! I send on thee and on thy servants and on thy people 
and on thy houses the cockroach ; and the houses of the Egyptians shall be full 
of the cockroach, and also the ground on which they are. ^'^ And I will distin- 
guish in that day the land of Goshen, on which My people stand, that there be no 
cockroach there ; so that thou mayest know that I am Yahveh in the midst of the 
land ; "-'^and I will place a division between My people and thy people : to-morrow 
shall this sign be.' ^* And Yahveh did so ; and there came-in the cockroach in 
multitudes into the house of Pharaoh and into the house of his servants, and into 
all the land of Egypt ; the land was corrupted because of the cockroach. " And 
Pharaoh called unto Moses and to Aaron and said, ' Go ye, sacrifice to your 
Elohim in the land.' ^e^j^^j Moses said, * It is not right to do thus ; for M^e shall 
sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians to Yahveh our Elohim. Lo ! shall we 
sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians before their eyes, and will they not 
stone us ? ^' A journey of three days will we go in the wilderness, and sacrifice 
to Yahveh our Elohim^ as He shall say to us.' ^s ^^^ Pharaoh said, ' I will let- 
you-go, that ye may sacrifice to Yahveh your Elohim in the wilderness ; only do 
not go very far away. Make-entreaty on my behalf.' -^ And Moses said, ' Lo ! I 
go-forth from thee, and will make-entreaty unto Yahveh that the cockroach may 
go-away from Pharaoh, and from his servants, and from his people, to-morrow. 
Only let not Pharaoh add to act-deceitfully, so as not to let the people go to 
sacrifice to Yahveh.' ^"And Moses went-forth from Pharaoh, and made-entreaty 
unto Yahveh. ^' And Yahveh did according to the word of Moses, and he took- 
away the cockroach from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people ; not 
one was left. ''^ And Pharaoh made-heavy his heart at this time also, and he did 
not let the people go. 

IX. * And Yahveh said unto Moses, ' Go-in unto Pharaoh, and thou shalt speak 
unto him, Thus saith Yahveh the Elohim of the Hebrews, Let My people go 
that they may serve Me. ^ For, if thou refuse to let them go, and wilt still keep thy 
hold on them, ^ lo ! the hand of Yahveh is upon thy cattle which is in the field, 
upon horses, upon asses, upon camels, upon oxen, and upon sheep — a very 
grievous pestilence. ■• And Yahveh will distinguish between the cattle of Israel 
and the cattle of the Egyptians ; and there shall not a thing die of all which 
belongs to the children of Israel.' * And Yahveh set an appointed-time, saying, 
'To-morrow Yahveh will do this thing in the land.' « And Yahveh did that 
thing on the morrow, and all cattle of the Egyptians died, and of cattle of Israel 
died not even one. "^ And Pharaoh sent, and lo ! there was not dead out of the 
cattle of the children of Israel even one : but the heart of Pharaoh was heavy, and 
he did not let the people go. || 

" And Yahveh said unto Moses, ' Rise-early in the morning, and present-thy- 
self before Pharaoh, and thou shalt say unto him. Thus saith Yahveh, the 
Elohim of the Hebrews, Let My people go that they may serve Me. '^ For at this 
time I will send all My plagues upon thy heart, and on thy servants, and on ihy 
people, so that thou mayest know that there is none like Mc in all the earth. 
'* For now I had put-forth My hand, and smitten thee and thy people with pesti- 
lence, and thou hadst been cut-off from the earth. '* Nevertheless, on account of 
this I have let thee stand, in order that I may make thee see My power, and in 


order to declare My name in all the earth. '^ As yet thou exaltest thyself against 
My people not to let them go, '^ Lo ! I will make-it-rain about this time to- 
morrow veiy heavy hail, such as has not been in Egypt since the day of its foun- 
dation even until now. '^ And now, send, secure thy cattle and all which thou 
hast in the field : all the men and beasts which are found in the field and are not 
gathered into the house — the hail shall come-down upon them and they shall die.* 
2° He who feared the word of Yahveh of the servants of Pharaoh, made his servants 
and his cattle flee into the houses. ^' And he who set not his heart unto the word 
of Yahveh, left his servants and his cattle in the field. 22 ^nd Yahveh said 
unto Moses, ' Stretch out thy hand towards heaven, that there may be hail in all 
the land of Egypt, on man and on beast and on every herb in the field in the land 
of Egypt. ' 23 ^nd Moses stretched out his staff towards heaven, and Yahveh 
sent thunderings and hail, and the fire went towards the earth ; and Yahveh 
rained hail upon the land of Egypt. ^^ And there was hail and fire continual in the 
midst of the hail, very grievous, such as there was none like it in all the land of Egypt 
since it became a nation. " And the hail smote in all the land of Eg)'pt all that -was 
in the field, from man even unto beast ; and every herb of the field the hail smote, 
and evei-y tree of the field it broke. " Only in the land of Goshen, where the 
children of Israel were, w^as there no hail. ^^ And Pharaoh sent and called to 
Moses and to Aaron, and said unto them, * I have sinned this time : Yahveh is the 
righteous, and I and my people are the guilty. ^^ Make-entreaty unto Yahveh, 
and let there be enough of there being thunders of Elohim and hail ; and I will 
let you go, and ye shall not any longer stay.' -® And Moses said unto him, ' At 
my going-forth from the city, I will spread-out my hands unto Yahveh ; the 
thimders shall cease and the hail shall be no more, in order that thou mayest know 
that the earth is Yahveh's. ^^ But thou and thy servants — I know that ye will 
fear not yet because of Yahveh-Elohim.' ^i Nqw the flax and the barley were 
smitten ; for the barley was in the ear, and the flax was in the flower. ^^ But the 
wheat and the spelt were not smitten, for they were dark. ^' And Moses went- 
forth from Pharaoh out of the city, and he spread-out his hands unto Yahveh ; 
and the thunders and the hail ceased ; and the rain was not poured -out to the 
earth. ^^ But, when Pharaoh saw that the rain ceased and the hail and 
the thunders, he sinned yet more and made-heavy his heart, he and his ser- 
vants, il 

X. ' And Yahveh said unto Moses, * Go-in unto Pharaoh, for I have made- 
heavy his heart and the hearts of his servants, that so I may set these my signs in 
the midst of him, ^ and that so thou mayest relate in the ears of thy son and thy 
son's son what I have wrought-reproachfully in Egypt, and my signs which I have 
placed among them, that ye may know that I am Yahveh.' ^ And Moses went- 
in and Aaron unto Pharaoh, and they said unto him, * Thus saith Yahveh the 
Elohim of the Hebrews, How long dost thou refuse to humble-thyself before Me ? 
Let My people go that they may serve Me. ■• For, if thou refusest to let My people 
go, lo ! I bring to-morrow the locust on thy border. * And it shall cover the eye 
of the land, and thou shalt not be able to see the land, and it shall eat the remnant 
of that which is escaped, which is left to you by the hail, and it shall eat every 
tree which groweth or you out of the field. ^ And it shall fill thy houses, and the 
houses of all thy servants, and the houses of all the Eg^-ptians, which neither thy 
ijathers nor thy fathers' fathers have seen since the day of their being on the ground 


unto this day.' And he turned -his- face and went-forth from Pharaoh. '' And the 
servants of Pharaoh said unto him, ' How long shall this (man) become a snare for 
us? Let the men go that they may serve Yahveh their Elohim. Knowest thou 
not yet that Egypt has perished ? ' * And Moses and Aaron were brought back 
to Pharaoh, and he said unto them, ' Go ye, serve Yahveh your Elohim ; who 
and who are those going ? ' " And Moses said, ' With our young and with our old 
will we go ; with our sons and with our daughters, with our flocks and with our 
herds, will we go ; for we have a Feast to Yahveh.' '" And he said unto them, 
* Yahveh be so with you, as I will let you go and your little ones ! Look ye ! 
for evil is over-against you. "Not so! go ye, I pray, the men, and serve 
Yahveh : for that were ye seeking.' And one drove them from the presence of 
Pharaoh. '- And Yahveh said unto Moses, ' Stretch-out thy hand over the land 
of Eg)'pt for the locust, that it may come-up over the land of Egypt, and eat every 
herb of the land, all which the hail has left.' *^And Moses stretched-forth his staff 
over the land of Egypt, and Yahveh guided an east-wind over the land all that 
day and all the night ; the morning was, and the east-wind brought the locust. 
>* And the locust came-up over all the land of Egypt, and rested in all the border 
of Egypt, very grievous ; before it was no such locust as it, and after it there shall 
not be such. '^ And it covered the eye of all the land, and the land was darkened; 
and it ate every herb of the land and every fruit of the trees which the hail had 
left, and there was not left any green-thing in the trees and in the herb of the 
field in all the land of Egypt. '^ And Pharaoh hastened to call Moses and 
Aaron and said, ' I have sinned against Yahveh your Elohim and against you. 
'^ And now, forgive, I pray, my sin only this time, and make-entreaty to 
Yahveh your Elohim that he may take-away from me only this death.' ^^And 
he went-forth from Pharaoh and made-entreaty unto Yahveh. "^ And Yahveh 
turned a strong west-wind, and it took-up the locust and threw it into the Red 
Sea : there was not left one locust in all the boundary of Egypt. ^° But Yahveh 
hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he did not let the people of Israel go. 

2' And Yahveh said unto Moses, ' Stretch-out thy hand over the heaven, that 
tTiere may be darkness over the land of Egypt, that one may feel darkness.' 
22 And Moses stretched-forth his hand over the heaven, and there was darkness, 
thick darkness, in all the land of Egypt three days. ^3 fhey saw not one his 
brother, and they arose not each from his place three days : but for all the children 
of Israel there was light in their dwellings. ^i ^^d Pharaoh called unto Moses 
and said, ' Go ye, serve Yahveh ! only your flocks and your herds shall be 
stayed; also your little-ones shall go with you.' "And Moses said, 'Thou also 
shalt give into our hand sacrifices and burnt-offerings, that we may offer to Yahveh 
our Elohim. ^^ And also our cattle shall go with us, not a hoof shall be left ; for 
we shall take of it to serve Yahveh our Elohim ; and we know not with what 
we shall serve Yahveh until our coming thither.' '^''^Mi Yahveh hardened 
Pharaoh's heart, and he would not let them go. ^^And Pharaoh said to him, 
' Begone from me ! beware-thee that thou see not my face again ; for in the day 
of thy seeing my face thou shalt die.' ^9 ^^d Moses said, * So hast thou spoken : 
I will not see thy face any more.' 

XI. ' Now Yahveh had said unto Moses, 'Yet one stroke more will I bring 
upon Pharaoh and upon the Egyptians ; afterwards he will let you go hence : at 
his letting you go, he will surely drive you away hence altogether. ^ Speak now 
in the ears of the people, and let them ask, each from his neighbour and each 


woman from her neighbour, articles of silver and articles of gold.' * ' And Vaiiveh 
had put favour for the people in the eyes of the Egyptians : also the man Moses 
was very great in the land of Egypt, in the eyes of Pharaoh's servants, and in the 
eyes of the people. ''And Moses said,t 'Thussaith Yaiiveh, About midnight I 
go-forth in the midst of Egypt. J 'And every firstborn shall die in the land of 
KgyP^ fi'oni the firstborn of Pharaoh who sits upon his throne unto the firstborn 
of the maidservant who is behind the millstones, and every firstborn of cattle. 
• And there shall be a great cry in all the land of Egypt, such as there has been 
none like it, nor shall be like it anymore. ^ But against any of the children of 
Israel not a dog shall sharpen his tongue, even from man unto beast, that so ye 
may know that Yahveh distinguisheth between the Egyptians and Israel. «And 
all these thy servants shall come-down unto me and bow-down to me, saying, Go- 
forth, thou, and all the people which is at thy feet ! and afterwards I will go-forth.' 
And he went-forth from Pharaoh in heat of anger. || XII. ^^ And it came to pass 
that at midnight Yahveh smote every firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the 
firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive who 
was in the dungeon, and every firstborn of cattle. ^» And Pharaoh rose-up in the 
night, he and all his servants and all the Egyptians ; and there was a great cry in 
Egypt ; for there was not a house where there was not one dead, " And he called 
for Moses and for Aaron in the midnight, and said, * Arise ! go-forth from the 
midst of my people, both you and the children of Israel, and go, serve Yahveh as 
ye have spoken. ^- Also your flocks and your herds take, as ye have spoken, and 
go, and bless me also.' "And the Egyptians pressed-hard upon the people, to 
hasten to let them go out of the land, for they said, ' We are all of us dead men !* 
^•* So the people took their dough before it was leavened, their kneading-troughs 
being bound-up in their garments on their shoulders. ^5 ^nd the children of Israel 
did according to the word of Moses ; and they asked of the Eg}^ptians articles of 
silver and articles of gold, and garments. ^^ And Yahveh put favour for the 
people in the eyes of the Egyptians, and they gave them gladly, and they spoiled 
the Egyptians. 

" And the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six 
hundred thousand men on foot, besides children. ^^ p^^^ ^jg^ ^ great rabble 
went-up with them, and flocks and herds, very much catile. ^^ And they baked 
the dough which they brought-forth out of Egypt with mazzoth (unleavened) cakes, 
for it was not leavened ; for tliey were driven-away out of Egypt, and were not 
able to tarry, and also they had not made for themselves food -for-the- way. || 

XIII. > And Yahveh spake unto Moses saying, 2 ' Sanctify for me all the first- 

* The writer here recalls to the reader's recollection the words in iii. 20-22, 
iv.22,23, supposed to have been spoken long ago, at the very commencement of 
the movement which led to the Exodus. 

t Moses says this before going out from Pharaoh, in continuation of his words 
in X.29. 

X These words in xi.4, compared with xii.29, imply beyond any doubt that the 
fijnal stroke would be given on the midnight next foliaioiug : and they would be so 
understood by every reader but for the difficulties, introduced by the interpolation 
of the L.L., about the Passover, &c., xii. 1-28, see t/.3,6. 


born, that openeth any womb among the children of Israel among men and cattle : 
it is mine. * . . . || 

'^ And it came-to-pass, at Pharaoh's letting the people go, that Elohim did not 
lead them by the way of the land of the Philistines, for that was near, for Elohim 
said, ' Lest the people repent at their seeing war and they return to Egypt.' '^But 
Elohim took the people roundabout by the way of the wilderness of the Red Sea : 
and the children of Israel went-up arrayed out of the land of Egypt. '» And 
Moses took the bones of Joseph with him ; for he had strictly sworn the children 
of Israel, saying, ' Elohim will certainly visit you, and ye shall bring-up hence 
my bones with you.' 20 So they broke-up from Succoth, and camped at Etham 
at the extremity of the wilderness. 21 And Yahveh 7vas going before them by day 
in a pillar of cloud to lead them the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give 
them light, to go by day and by night. 22 He removed not the pillar of cloud by 
day and the pillar of cloud by night before the people. 

XIV. » And Yahveh spake unto Moses, saying, ' - Speak unto the children of 
Israel that they return and camp before Pi-hahiroth between Migdol and the Sea, 
before Eaal-Zephon : over-against it camp ye by the Sea. ' For Pharaoh hath 
said of the children of Israel, They are entangled in the land : the wilderness hath 
shut upon them. ^ But I have hardened Pharaoh's heart that he may pursue after 
them ; and I will get-myself honoured upon Pharaoh and on all his force, and the 
Eg>'ptians shall know that I am Yahveh.' And they did so. 

* And it was told to the king of Egypt that the people had fled ; and the heart 
of Pharaoh and his servants was turned against the people, and they said, ' What 
is this we have done ? for we have let Israel go from serving us ? ' « And he 
harnessed his chariot, and he took his people with him ; ^ and he took six 
hundred chosen chariots, even all the chariots of Egypt, and captains over them 
all. jl 9 And the Eg}'ptians pursued after them, and they overtook them camping 
by the Sea,— all the chariot-horses of Pharaoh, and his horsemen, and his force, 
— by Pi-hahiroth before Baal-Zephon. 

'" And Pharaoh drew-near, and the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and 
lo ! the Egyptians journeyed after them ; and they feared greatly, and the children 
of Israel cried unto Yahveh. " And they said unto Moses, ' Because there were 
no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us to die in the wilderness ? ^^ jg not this the 
thing that we spake unto thee in Egypt, saying. Cease from us, and let us serve 
the Egyptians ? for it is better for us to serve the Egyptians than our dying in the 
wilderness.' '^ ^.nd Moses said unto the people, 'Fear ye not ; stand, and see 

The O.S., which in v.\,2, has grounded the dedication of the first-borns in 
Israel, both of man and beast, upon the fact of the first-borns of man and beast 
being killed in Egypt, as a memorial of that event, intended, no doubt, to ground 
also the observance of the Feast of Mazzoth upon the fact of the Israelites being 
compelled, for want of time, to take their bread out of Egypt unleavened, upon 
which such very particular stress is laid in xii.34,39. It probably did once contain 
a short passage to that effect after z'.i,2, which D. has replaced by his own lan- 
guage in z^.3-i6, instituting the Feast of Mazzoth in v.^-io, and in z/. 11-16 ex- 
plaining and softening the abrupt words of the O.S. in v.2, which, as they stand, 
seem to imply that the firstlings of man and beast were to be dealt with alike, and 
'sanctified to Yahveh ' by being sacrificed. 


the salvation of Yaiiveh, which He will (do) work for you to-day ; for the 
Egyptians, whom ye have seen to-day, ye shall see them no more for ever. 
» Yahveh fighteth for you, and ye, be still ! ' '^ And Yaiiveh said unto Moses, 
' Why cryest thou unto Me ? Speak unto the children of Israel that they break-up 
( = march). •« And thou, lift-up thy staff, and stretch-out thy hand over the Sea, 
and cleave-it ; and the children of Israel shall go-in in the midst of the Sea on 
dry-land. "And I— lo ! I harden the heart of the Egyptians, and they shall 
go-in after them ; and I will get-myself honoured on Pharaoh, and on all his 
force, on his chariots and on his horsemen. '« And the Egyptians shall know 
that I am Yahveh, when I get-myself-honoured on Pharaoh, on his chariots, and 
on his horsemen.' '» And the angel of Elohim, that zvas going before the Camp 
of Israel, journeyed and went behind them ; and the pillar of cloud journeyed 
from before them and stood behind them ; 2" and it came between the Camp of 
the Egyptians and the Camp of Israel ; and there was the cloud and the darkness, 
and it gave light by night ; and one drew not near unto the other all the night. 

^> And Moses stretched-out his hand upon the Sea, and Yahveh made the Sea 
go by a strong east wind all the night, and (placed) made the Sea become dry- 
land, and the waters were cleft. 22 ^nd the children of Israel went-in in the 
midst of the Sea on dry-land ; and the waters were for them a wall on their right 
and on their left. " ^nd the Egyptians pursued and went-in after them, every 
horse of Pharaoh, his chariots and his horsemen, unto the midst of the Sea. 
2* And it came-to-pass in the morning watch that Yahveh looked unto the Camp 
of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and cloud, and troubled the Camp of 
the Egyptians. ^5 ^nd He turned-aside the wheels of their chariots, and they 
guided them with difficulty, and the Egyptians said, ' Let us flee before Israel ! 
for Yahveh fighteth for them against us.' ^e And Yahveh said unto Moses, 
'Stretch-out thy hand over the Sea, that the waters may return upon the 
Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen.' "And Moses stretched^ 
out his hand over the Sea, and the Sea returned at the turning of the morning 
to its usual-power, and the Egyptians were fleeing to meet it, and Yahveh over- 
threw the Egyptians in the midst of the Sea. ^^ And the waters returned, and 
covered the chariots and the horsemen of the whole host of Pharaoh that came-in 
after them in the Sea : there was not left among them even one. *" And the 
children of Israel went on dry-land in the midst of the Sea : and the waters we^-e 
for them a wall on their right and on their left. =»« And Yahveh saved Israel on 
that day out of the hand of the Egyptians ; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead 
upon the brink of the Sea. ^i And Israel saw the great (hand) work which 
Yahveh did upon the Egyptians, and the people feared Yahveh, and believed in 
Yahveh and Moses His servant. 

XV. ' Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this Song * to Yahveh, and 
they said, saying : — 

* This * Song of Moses ' seems to have been inserted by an afterthought, as an 
expansion of the Song of Miriam in z'.ai, and probably by the same hand which 
had completed the original account of the Exodus. This will explain the fact that 
in z/. 16 there appears certainly to be a reference to the passage of the Jordan, which 
the writer (as we suppose) had already described — 

' Till Thy people, Yahveh, pass-over, 
Till this people /rt:jj-(7Z't7' whom Thou hast purchased.' 


' I will sing to Yahveh, 

For He hath triumphed excellently ; 

The horse and his rider hath He thrown into the Sea. 
2 My Strength and my Song is Jah, 

And He became for me Salvation ; 

This is my El, and I will glorify Him, 

The Elohim of my father, and I will exalt Him. 
' Yahveh is a man of war : 

Yahveh w His name. 

* The chariots of Pharaoh and his force hath He thrown into the Sea, 
And the choice of his captains have sunk in the Red Sea. 

* The depths do cover them ; 

They went -down in the depths like a stone. 

* Thy right-hand, YAHVEH ! 
Is become- glorious in power ; 
Thy right-hand, Yahveh ! 
Doth dash-in-pieces the enemy. 

' And in the abundance of Thy excellency 

Thou overthrowest those that rise against Thee ; 

Thou sendest-forth Thy wrath ; 

It consumes them as stubble. 
^ For by the wind of Thy nostrils 

The waters were piled ; 

The floods stood as a heap ; 

The depths were congealed in the heart of the Sea. 
^ The enemy said, ' I will pursue, I will overtake ; 

I will divide spoil, my soul shall be filled with them ; 

I will draw-out my sword ; 

My hand shall destroy them.' 
'" Thou didst blow with Thy wind ; 

The Sea covered them ; 

They sank like lead in the mighty waters, 
*• Who is like Thee among the gods, Yahveh ? 

"Who is like Thee, glorious in holiness, 

Fearful in praises, doing wonders ? 
*^ Thou stretchedst-out Thy right-hand : 

The earth swallowed them. 
" Thou hast led in Thy mercy 

The people whom Thou hast redeemed ; 

Thou hast guided them in Thy strength 

Unto the habitation of Thy holiness. 
" The peoples heard, and were afraid ; 

Anguish seized on the inhabitants of Philistia. 
'^ Then were the dukes of Edom amazed ; 

The mighty-ones of Moab — trembling seizes them, 

All the inhabitants of Canaan are melted. 
** There shall fall upon them terror and dread ; 

Through the greatness of Thine arm they shall be dumb as a stone,— 

Till Thy people pass-over, Yahveh ! 

Till this people pass-over whom Thou hast purchased. 


*^ Thou shalt bring-tliem-in and plant-lhcm 
In the mountain of Thine inheritance, — 

The fixed-place, Yahveh ! which Thou hast made for Thine abode, — 
The Sanctuary, O Lord ! which Thy hands have prepared.* 
"* Yahveh shall reigii for ever and ever !' 
'" For Pharaoh's horse went-in with his chariots, and with his horsemen in the 
Sea, and Yahveh brought-back upon them the waters of the Sea, and the children 
of Israel went on dry-land in the midst of the Sea. 

-" And Miriam, the prophetess, Aaron's sister, took the timbrel in her hand^ 
and all the women went-forth after her with timbrels and with dances. *' And 
Miriam ansM-ered them — 

' Sing ye to Yahveh, for He hath triumphed gloriously I 
The horse and his rider hath He thrown into the Sea.' 

22 And Moses made Israel break-up from the Red Sea, and they went-forth unto 
the wilderness of Shur : and they went three days in the wilderness and found no 
water. -^ And they came to Marah, and they were not able to drink waters out 
of Marah, for they were bitter ; therefore one called its name Marah. ^4 ^^d the 
people murmured against Moses, saying, * What shall we drink ? ' 2^* And he 
cried unto Yahveh, and Yahveh showed him a tree, and he cast it into the waters, 
and the waters were made sweet. || ^^ And they came to Elim, and there were 
there twelve springs of water, and seventy palm-trees, and they camped there by 
the water. XVI. >* And all the Assembly of the children of Israel journeyed from 
Elim, and came into the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai. || 

XVII. ' And all the Assembly of the children of Israel journeyed from the 
wilderness of Sin according to their journeyings by the mouth of Yahveh, and 
they camped at Rephidim, and there was no water for the people's drinking. 
2 And the people strove with Moses and said, ' Give us water that we may drink.' 
And Moses said to them, ' Why do ye strive with m.e ? Why do ye tempt 
Yahveh ?' ^ And the people thirsted there for water, and the people murmured 
against Moses, and said, ' Why is this that thou hast brought-us up out of Egypt 
to put (me) us to death and (my) our children and (my) our cattle with thirst ? ' 

* And Moses cried unto Yahveh, saying, ' What shall I do to this people ? yet 
a little and they will stone me.' * And Yahveh said unto Moses, 'Pass-over 
before the people, and take with thee of the Elders of Israel, and thy staff, with 
which thou smotest the River, take in thy hand and go. * Lo ! I stand before 
thee there by the rock,|| and thou shalt smite on the rock, and water shall come 
forth out of it, and the people shall drink. ' And Moses did so before the eyes of 
the Elders of Israel. ^ And one called the name of the place Massah (temptation) 
and Meribah (strife), on account of the strife of the children of Israel and on ac- 
count of their tempting Yahveh, saying, ' Is Yahveh in the midst of us or not?' 

* And Amalek came and fought with Israel at Rephidim. ® And Moses said 
unto Joshua, t ' Choose for us men and go-forth, fight with Amalek : to-morrow I 

* These words point to an author who lived after the establishment by David of 
the Sanctuary on Mount Zion, which was meant from the first to be, as it became 
ultimately, a central place of worship for all Israel. 

t Joshua is here mentioned abruptly for the first time, as Hur is in ^'. 10, (and 
Moses by the Elohist in vi. 2) without any previous words of introduction. 


stand on the top of the hill, and the staff of Elohim in my hand.' i° And Joshua 
did as Moses said to him, to fight with Amalek : and Moses, Aaron, and Hur 
went-up to the top of the hill. " And it came-to-pass, when Moses lifted-up his 
hand, that Israel prevailed, and when he rested his hand that Amalek prevailed. 
'2 And the hands of Moses were heavy, and they took a stone, and placed it under 
him, and he sat upon it ; and Aaron and Hur took-hold on his hands, on this side 
one ahd on this side one, and his hands were steady till the going-in of the sun. 
*^And Joshua weakened Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword. |I 
"And Moses built an altar and called its name YAHVEH-Nissi (Yahveh is my 
banner), '«and said, 'The hand on the banner of Jah ! War for Yahveh with 
Amalek from generation to generation ! ' 

XVIII. ' And Jethro, prince of Midian, father-in-law of Moses, heard all that 
Elohim had done for Moses and for Israel his people, that Yahveh had brought- 
forth Israel out of Egypt. ^ ^^^j Jethro, the father-in-law of Moses, took Zip- 
porah the wife of Moses, after his sending-her-away, ' and her two sons, of whom 
the name of the one was Gershom, — for he said, ' A sojourner was I in a strange 
land,' — *and the name of the other Eliezer, — 'for the Elohim of my father was 
for my help, and delivered me from the sword of Pharoah.' *And Jethro, the 
father-in-law of Moses, came, and his sons, and his wife, unto Moses, unto the 
wilderness where he was camping, to the Mount of Elohim. ^ And he said unto 
Moses, ' I thy father-in-law Jethro come unto thee, and thy wife and her two sons 
with her.' 'And Moses went-forth to meet his father-in-law, and he bowed-him- 
self and kissed him, and they asked one another of welfare, and they came unto 
the tent. ^ And Moses recounted to his father-in-law all that Yahveh had done 
to Pharaoh and to the Egyptians on account of Israel, all the travail which had 
found them in the way, and Yahveh had delivered them. ** And Jethro rejoiced 
over all the good which Yahveh had done for Israel, whom He had delivered out 
of the hand of the Egyptians. '° And Jethro said, ' Blessed be Yahveh, who 
hath delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians and out of the hand of Pharaoh, 
who hath delivered the people from under the hand of the Egyptians ! " Now I 
know that great is Yahveh above all the Elohim — yea, in the thing in which 
they dealt proudly against them.' ^"^ Kn^ Jethro, the father-in-law of Moses, took 
a burnt-offering and sacrifices for Elohim ; and Aaron came, and all the elders of 
Israel, to eat bread with the father-in-law of Moses before Elohim. 

'^ And it came-to-pass on the morrow that Moses sat to judge the people, and 
the people stood by Moses from the morning until the evening. " And the father- 
in-law of Moses saw all that he was doing for the people and said, ' What is this 
thing which thou art doing for the people ? Why art thou sitting by thyself, and 
all the people standing by thee from morx/ing until evening ? ' '^ And Moses said 
to his father-in-lav/, ' Because the people cometh unto me to seek Elohim. '« If 
they shall have a matter, they come unto me that I may judge between a man and 
his neighbour, and that I may make them know the statutes of Elohim and His 
laws.' ''And the father-in-law of Moses said unto him, ' The thing is not good 
which thou art doing. '^ Thou wilt surely wear-away, both thou and this people 
that is with thee ; for the thing is too heavy for thee ; thou wilt not be able to do 
it by thyself. •» Now hearken unto my voice : let me counsel thee, and Elohim 
be with thee ! Be thou for the people towards Elohim, and bring-in thou the 
matters unto Elohim, 20 and that thou mayest enjoin them the statutes and the 
laws, and mayest make them know the way in which they shall go and the \\ork 


which they shall do. '• And thou shalt look-out from all the people men of force, 
fearing Elohim, men of truth, hating lucre ; and thou shalt set ihcm over them as 
captains of thousands, captains of hundreds, captains of fifties, and captains of tens. 
"And they shall judge the people at all times ; and it shall come-to-pass ///r?/ 
every great matter they sliall bring unto thee, and every small matter they shall 
judge ; so lighten it from off thee, and they shall bear with thee. ^^ If thou v.'ilt 
do this thing, and Elohim command thee, then thou wilt be able to stand, and all 
this people shall go to their place in peace.' 

"< And Moses hearkened to the voice of Tiis father-in-law, and did all he said. 
2* And Moses chose men of force out of all Israel, and appointed them as heads 
over the people, captains of thousands, captains of hundreds, captains of fifties, 
and captains of tens, ^s And they judged the people at all times : the hard matter 
they brought unto Moses, and every small matter tliey judged. '^^ And Moses 
sent-away his father-in-law, and he gat him unto his land. 

XIX, II 2 And they journeyed from Rephidim, and came to the wilderness of 
Sinai, and camped in the wilderness, and Israel camped there before the Mount. 
^» And Moses went-up unto Elohim. || "^And Yahveh said unto Moses, ' Lo ! 
I am coming unto thee in a thick cloud, in order that the people may hear at My 
speaking with thee and also may believe in thee for ever.'|| '"And Yahveh 
said unto Moses, ' Go unto the people, and sanctify them to-day and to-morrow, 
and let them wash their clothes. " And let them be ready for the third day ; for 
on the third day Yahveh will come-down in the sight of all the people on Mount 
Sinai. '^ And thou shalt set-bounds to the people roundabout, saying, Take-heed 
to yourselves as to going-up on the Mountain or touching its extremities ; every- 
one that toucheth the Mountain shall surely die. •" Let no hand touch it ; for he 
shall be certainly stoned or shot-through ; whether beast or man he shall not live ; 
at the drawing-out of the ram's-horn, they shall go-up on the Mount.' "And 
Moses went-down from the Mount unto the people, and sanctified the people, and 
they washed their clothes. '^ And he said unto the people, ' Be ye ready for the 
third day : come-not near to a woman.' 

'^ And it came-to-pass on the third day, when the morning was, that there were 
(voices) thunderings and lightnings, and a heavy cloud upon the Mount, and the 
sound of a tmmpet very loud ; and all the people trembled that were in the Camp. 
''And Moses brought-forth the people to meet Elohim out of the Camp; and 
they stationed-themselves underneath the Mount. '** And Mount Sinai was all of 
it smoke, because Yahveh had come-down upon it in fire ; and its smoke went- 
up as the smoke of the furnace, and the whole Mount trembled greatly. '» And 
the sound of the trumpet was going very much louder and louder ; Moses spake, 
and Elohim answered him by a (voice) thundering. || XX.* '* And all the people 
were seeing the (voices) thunderings and the flashes and the sound of the trumpet 
and the Mountain smoking ; and, when the people saw, they shrunk-back and 

* If Yahveh in the O.S. had uttered in the hearing of the people the Ten 
Words, ' with a great voice out of the midst of the fire,' how is it that in v. 18 there 
is nothing said about this— no reference to their having heard the loud-spoken 
'words,'' as well as the 'thunderings' and the 'sound of the trumpet'— and that 
not the slightest allusion is made to them in all the * words ' and ' judgments ' 
which follow, xx.22-xxiii.2i ? 


stood at a distance. "And they said unto Moses, * Speak thou with us, and we 
will hear: but let not Elohim speak with us, lest we die,' ^o^^d Moses said 
unto the people, ' Fear ye not ; for in order to prove you hath Elohim come, 
and in order that His fear may be before your face, that ye sin not,' 2' And the 
people stood at a distance, and Moses approached unto the thick darkness where 
Elohim zvas.'*' 

22 And Yahveh said unto Moses, ' Thus shalt thou say unto the children of 
Israel — Ye have seen that out of heaven I have spoken with you,t ^^ Thou shalt 
not make with Me gods of silver, and ye shall not make you gods of gold, ^* An 
altar of earth shall ye make for Me, and thou shalt sacrifice upon it thy burnt- 
offerings and thy peace-offerings, thy sheep and thine oxen : in every place where 
ye make-mention of My Name, I will come unto thee and I will bless thee. 
"^ And, if thou shalt make for Me an altar of stones, thou shalt not build them of 
hewn-stones ; if thou hast waved thy tool upon it, then thou shalt defile it, 2® And 
thou shalt not go -up by steps upon My altar, that thy nakedness be not revealed 
upon it. 

XXI. ' * And these are the judgments which thou shalt place before them, 

* ' When thou buyest a Hebrew servant, six years shall he serve, and in the 
seventh he shall go-forth free for nothing. ^ If by himself he came-in, by himself 
shall he go-forth ; if he was a married man, then his wife shall go-forth with him. 

* If his lord shall give him a wife, and she bear to him sons or daughters, the 
woman and her children shall be her lord's, and he shall go-forth by himself. 

* And if the servant shall positively say, I love my lord, my wife, and my children, 
I will not go-forth free, ^ then his lord shall bring-him-nigh unto Elohim, and 
shall bring-him-nigh unto the door or unto the side-post, and his lord shall bore 
his ear with an awl, and he shall serve him for ever. 

' * And when a man selleth his daughter for a handmaid, she shall not go-forth 
according to the going-forth of the men-servants. * If she be evil in the eyes of 
her lord, who hath betrothed her to himself,, he shall let her be redeemed ; to a 
strange people he shall have no power to sell her, at his dealing-faithlessly with 
her. * And if he shall betroth her to his son, according to the right of daughters 
shall he do to her. " If he shall take another for him, her food, her clothing, 
and her cohabitation, he shall not diminish. " And, if he will not do these three 
to her, then she shall go-forth for nothing, without money. 

'^ ' He that smiteth a man that he die shall surely be put to death. '* And he 
who hath not lain-in-wait, but Elohim lets fall into his hand, I will appoint for 
thee a place whither he shall flee. '^ But, when a man shall act wickedly against 
his neighbour to slay him with guile, from My altar shalt thou take him for death. 
'* And he that smiteth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death. '^ And 
he that stealeth a man and selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, shall surely 
be put to death. '^ And he that curseth his father or his mother shall surely be 
put-to-death. '^ And, when men shall strive, and a man shall smite his neighbour 
with a stone or with his fist, and he dieth not, but falls a-bed, '^ if he arise, and 
walk-about abroad upon his staff, then the smiter shall be acquitted : only he shall 

* It will be seen that the command (of the L.L.) in xix.24, that Moses should 
go down and come up with Aaron, is never carried out. 

t Yahveh had 'spoken with them' by the 'voice' or thundering in xix.ig. 


pay his resting, and shall have him thoroughly healed. -" And, when a man shall 
smite his servant or his handmaid with a rod, and he die under his hand, he shall 
certainly be punished. -' Only if he shall stand a day or two days, he shall not 
be punished, for he is his money. " And, when men shall strive and shall smite a 
pregnant woman, and her children go-forth, and there be no mischief, he shall 
certainly be mulcted as the woman's husband shall lay upon him, and he shall 
give it by the judges. "^^ But, if there shall be mischief, then thou shalt give life 
for life, ■■^^ eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, '" burning for 
burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe. -® And, when a man shall smite the 
eye of his servant or the eye of his handmaid, and shall destroy it, he shall let him 
go free for his eye. 2' And, if he shall smite-out the tooth of his servant or the 
tooth of his handmaid, he shall let him go free for his tooth. 2" And ^^•hen an ox 
shall gore a man or a woman and die, the ox shall be surely stoned, and its flesh 
shall not be ea'ten, and the owner of the ox shall be acquitted. -" And, if the ox 
was goring aforetime, and it has been testified against its owner, and he have not 
watched it, and he kill a man or a woman, the ox shall be stoned, and also its 
owner shall be put to death. '" If an atonement is laid upon him, then he shall 
give the ransom of his life according to all that shall be laid upon him. ^' Whether 
it shall gore a son or shall gore a daughter, according to this judgment it shall be 
done to him. ^^ jf j-j^g qx shall gore a manservant or a handmaid, thirty shekels 
of silver shall he give to his master, and the ox shall be stoned. *^ And, when a 
man shall open a pit, or when a man shall dig a pit, and shall not cover it, and 
an ox or an ass fall therein, ^^ the owner of the pit shall repay ; money shall he 
return to its owner, and the dead shall be his. '^ And, when a man's ox shall 
hurt his neighbour's ox and it die, then they shall sell the living ox and halve its 
silver, and also the dead shall they halve. ^® Or should it be known that the ox 
loas goring aforetime, and its owner hath not watched him, he shall certainly repay 
ox for ox, and the dead shall be his. 

XXII, ' ' When a man shall steal an ox or a sheep, and slaughter it or sell it, 
five oxen shall he repay for the ox and four sheep for the sheep. - When the 
thief shall be found breaking-in and he be smitten that he die, there is no blood 
for him. ^ If the sun had risen upon him, there is blood for him : he shall 
certainly repay ; if he have nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft. ^ If theft 
be certainly found in his hand, whether it be ox or ass or sheep, alive, he shall 
repay double. 

^ ' When a man shall eat-ofT a field or a vineyard, and shall let loose his beast 
that it eat-off in the field of another, the best of his field and the best of his vine- 
yard shall he repay. « If fire goeth-forth and catch thorns, so that slack or 
standing-corn or field be devoured, he that kindled the conflagration shall certainly 
repay. ^ When a man shall give unto his neighbour silver or vessels to keep, and 
it shall be stolen out of the man's house, if the thief be found, let him repay 
double. ^ If the thief be not found, then the master of the house shall be brought- 
near unto Elohim, to swear that he hath not put his hand to his neighbour's 
property. ^ For all matter of transgression, for ox, for ass, for sheep, for raiment, 
for anything lost of which one shall say this is it, unto Elohim shall come the 
matter of both of them : whom Elohim shall pronounce-in-fault, he shall repay 
double to his neighbour. '" When a man shall give unto his neighbour ass or ox 
or sheep, or any beast, to keep, and it die, or be hurt, or be plundered, none 
seeing, " an oath of Vahveh shall be between them both, that he has not put his 


hand to liis neighbour's property, and its owner shall take it, and he shall not re- 
pay. •■■ But, if it be certainly stolen from him, he shall repay its owner. '^ If it 
be torn in pieces, then let him bring it as a witness : the torn he shall not repay. 
'^ When a man shall ask of his neighbour, and it be hurt or have died, its owner 
not being with it, he shall surely repay. ^^ If its master 2vas with it, he shall not 
repay : if it was hired, it came for its hire. 

•® * And when a man shall entice a virgin who is not betrothed, and lie with her, 
he shall certainly endow her for himself for wife. ^' If her father utterly refuse to 
give her to him, he shall weigh-out money according to the dowry of virgins. 

'* ' A witch thou shalt not let live. 

19 i j^yeryone lying with a beast shall surely be put-to-death. 

20 ' He that sacrificeth to Elohim shall be (devoted) utterly-destroyed, except 
to Yahveh only. 

2> ' And the sojourner thou shalt not afflict or oppress him ; for sojourners were 
ye in the land of Egypt. ^'^ Any widow and orphan thou shalt not afflict. ^3 jf 
thou at all afflict them, surely if at all he cry unto Me, I will hear his cry ; 2»then 
My wrath shall be kindled, and I will slay you with the sword, and your wives 
shall be widows and your children orphans. 

2* ' If silver thou shalt lend to My people that is poor with thee, thou shalt not 
be to him as an usurer ; thou shalt not lay upon him interest, ^e jf ^hou takest in 
pledge at all thy neighbour's raiment, by the going-in of the sun thou shalt return 
it to him. 2' For that is his covering only : it is his raiment for his skin : wherewith 
shall he lie down ? and it shall come-to-pass, when he crieth unto Me, that I will 
hear, for gracious am I. 

28 ' Elohim shalt thou not revile, and the prince among thy people shalt thou 
not curse, ^s fhy fulness and thy (tears) juice thou shalt not delay : the first-born 
of thy sons thou shalt give to Me. ^° So shalt thou do with thy ox, with thy 
sheep : seven days shall it be with its dam ; on the eighth day thou shalt give it 
to Me. ^' And men of holiness shall ye be for Me ; and flesh in the field, that is 
torn, shall ye not eat ; to the dog shall ye cast it. 

XXIII. ' ' Thou shalt not raise a false report : put not thy hand with the 
wicked to be a witness of violence. ^ Thou shalt not be after many to do evil : 
and thou shalt not answer about a suit to turn aside after many to turn-aside 
justice. ^ And a poor man shalt thou not respect in his suit. 

* ' When thou slialt meet thine enemy's ox or his ass straying, thou shalt cer- 
tainly take-it-back to him. * When thou seest the ass of him that hateth thee lying 
under its burden, and M-ilt refrain from unloosing for it, thou shalt certainly un- 
loose with him. 

* ' Thou shalt not turn-aside the judgment of thy poor in his suit. ^ From a 
false matter thou shalt keep-at-a-distance ; and the innocent and righteous shalt 
thou not slay : for I will not justify the wicked. ^ And a bribe shalt thou not 
take ; for the bribe blindeth the seeing, and perverteth the words of the righteous. 

® * And a sojourner thou shalt not oppress ; for ye know the soul of the sojourner;. 
for sojourners were ye in the land of Egypt. 

'° ' And six years shalt thou sow thy land, and shalt gather its produce. " And 
the seventh year thou shalt let it \i.e. 'its produce '] rest and lie still; that the 
poor of thy people may eat, and their leaving the beast of the field shall eat : so 
shalt thou do to thy vineyard, to thy oliveyard. 

« ' Six days thou shalt do thy work, and on the seventh day thou shalt rest, that 


so thine ox and thine ass may repose, and the son of thy handmaid and the so- 
journer may be refreshed. || 

'* ' Three times shah thou keep-feast to me in tlie year. '* The Feast of Mazzoth 
shalt thou keep, II at the season of the month of (green-ears) Abib, for in it thou 
camest-forth out of Egypt, '" and the Feast of Harvest, the firstfruits of thy work 
which thou shalt sow in the field, and the Feast of Ingathering, at the end of the 
year, at thy gathering thy work out of the field, '^ Three times in the year shall 
every male of thine appear before the Lord Yahveh, and they shall not appear 
before Me empty. || * 

'* ' Thou shalt not sacrifice with leaven the blood of My sacrifice, and the fat of 
My Feast shall not remain until the morning. || 

2" ' Lo ! I send an Angel before thee to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee 
unto the place which I prepared. 2' Be watchful before him, and hearken to his 
voice : embitter him not, for he will not pardon your transgression, for My Name 
is in him. ' || 

XXIV. ' And unto Moses He said, * Come-up unto Yahveh, thou and Aaron, 
Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the Elders of Israel, and ye shall worship at a 
distance. ^ And Moses shall draw near by himself unto Yahveh, but they shall 
not draw-near ; and the people shall not come-up with him.' 

' And Moses came and related to the people all the words of Yahveh and all 
the judgments ; and all the people answered with one voice, and they said, ' All 
the things, which Yahveh hath spoken, will we do.' '' And Moses wrote all the 
words of Yahveh ; and he rose-early in the morning, and built an altar under the 
Mountain, and twelve pillars according to the twelve tribes of Israel. * And he 
sent young-men of the children of Israel, f and they ofifered-up burnt-offerings and 
sacrificed peace-offerings to Yahyeh, steers. « And Moses took half of the blood, 
and placed it in basons, and half of the blood he sprinkled upon the altar. ^ And 
he took the book of the Covenant, and read in the ears of the people, and they 
said, * All which Yahveh hath spoken will we do and we will hearken.' ^ And 
Moses took the blood, and sprinkled upon the people, and he said, ' Lo ! the blood 
of the Covenant which Yahveh hath made with you concerning all these words.' 

^ And Moses went-up, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the Elders 
of Israel. '" And they saw the Elohim of Israel, and under His feet Hke a work 
of transparent sapphire, and as the body of heaven for clearness. " And upon the 
nobles of the children of Israel He put not forth His hand ; and they beheld 
Elohim, and they ate and drank. || 

" And Moses arose and Joshua his minister, and Moses went-up unto the Mount 
of Elohim. '^ And unto the Elders he said, ' Stay for us here, until we return 
unto you : and lo ! Aaron and Hur are with you ; whoever has matters, let him 
draw-near unto them.' *^And Moses went-up into the Mount, and the cloud 
covered the Mount. || '^ And Moses went into the midst of the cloud, and he went- 
up into the Mount, and Moses was in the Mount forty days and forty nights. |[ 

* These words, ' and they shall not appear before Me empty,' clearly belong ii 
the end of 2^.17 : in the place where they now stand, at the end of z/. 15 (E.V. ), 
they break the connection between v.i^a. and v. 16, since the same verb, 'thou 
shalt observe,' is meant to govern the three accusatives, 'the Feast of Mazzoth,' 
' the Feast of Harvest,' 'the Feast of Ingathering.' 

t Where were ' the priests, who draw-near to Yahveh,' expressly mentioned in 
xix.24 {L.L. ), that they did not assist on this occasion? 

E E 


XXX. '^ And He gave unto !Moses, when He had finished to speak with him on 
Mount Sinai, two tables of the Testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger 
of Elohim. II 

XXX n. ' And the people saw that Moses delayed to come-dowoi from the 
Mount, and the people gathered-together against Aaron, and they said unto him, 
' Arise ! inake us an Elohim who shall go before us : for this Moses, the man who 
brought-us-up out of the land of Egypt, we know not what has become of him. ' 
2 And Aaron said unto them, ' Strip-off the rings of gold which are in the ears of 
your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring-them unto me.' ^ And 
all the people stripped themselves of the rings of gold which were in their ears, 
and brought // unto Aaron. * And he took // out of their hands, and formed it 
with a graver, and made it a molten calf; and they said, * This is thy Elohim, O 
Israel, who brought-thee-up out of the land of Egypt ! ' ^ And Aaron saw it, and 
he built an altar before it ; and Aaron proclaimed and said, * A Feast of Yahveh 
to-morrow ! ' * And they rose-early on the morrow j and they offered-up burnt- 
offerings and brought-near peace-offerings ; and the people sat-down to eat and 
drink, and they arose to play.jl 

'* And Moses turned and went-down from the Mount, and the two tables of the 
Testimony zvere in his hand, tables written on both their sides, on this side and on 
that were they written. '^ And the tables — they were the work of Elohim, and 
the writing — it was the writing of Elohim, graven upon the tables. '^ And Joshua 
heard the sound of the people at their shouting, and he said unto Moses, ' A sound 
of war in the camp ! ' ^^ And he said, ' No sound of crying victory and no sound 
of crying defeat — the sound of singing do I hear.' •^ And it came-to-pass, as he 
came -near unto the Camp, that he saw the calf and dances ; and the anger of 
Moses was kindled, and he cast-out of his hand the tables, and broke them under 
the Mount, ^o ^^d he took the calf which they had made, and burnt it with fire, 
and ground it to powder, and sprinkled on the surface of the water, and made the 
children of Israel drink. ^' And Moses said unto Aaron, ' What hath this people 
done to thee, that thou hast brought upon it a great sin ? ' " And Aaron said, 
* Let not my lord's anger be kindled ! thou knowest the people that it is set on 
evil. '^ And they said to me, Make us an Elohim who shall go before us ; for 
this Moses, the man who brought-us-up out of the land of Egypt, we know not 
what has become of him. "^^ And I said to them, Whoever has gold, let them 
strip-themselves and give // to me ; and I cast it into the fire, and there came forth 
this calf 

2* And Moses saw the people that it was unbridled, for Aaron had made it un- 
bridled for a shame among their adversaries, ^a ^^d Moses stood at the gate of 
the Camp, and he said, ' Who is for Yahveh — to me ! ' and all the sons of Eevi 
gathered unto him. ^7 And he said to them, ' Thus saith Yahveh, the Elohim of 
Israel ! Place-ye each his sword upon his thigh ; pass-over and return from gate 
to gate in the Camp, and slay each his brother and each his friend and each his 
neighbour. ' ^s ^.nd the sons of Levi did according to the word of Moses ; and 
there fell of the people on that day about three thousand men. ** For Moses said, 
' (Fill your hands = ) Consecrate-yourselves this day to Yahveh, yes, each on his 
son and on his brother, and to bring upon yourselves this day a blessing. ' * 

* There were probably some words in the O.S., in connexion with this speech of 
Moses to the Levites and their zealous execution of his command, appointing them 


"" And it came-to-pass on the morrow that Moses said unto the people, ' Ye — 
ye have sinned a great sin : and now I will go-up unto Yahveii : perhaps I shall 
atone for your sin.' ^' And Moses returned unto Yahveh and said, ' Lo ! this 
people hath sinned a great sin, and they have made themselves an Elohim of gold. 
'■' And now, if Thou wilt forgive their sin — and if not, wipe-me-out, I pray, from 
Thy book which Thou hast written,' ^^ And Yahveii said unto Moses, ' Whoso- 
ever hath sinned against Me, him will I blot out of My book.' || '^ And Yahveh 
plagued the people because they had made the calf which Aaron made. 

XXXIII. ' And Yahveh spake unto Moses, ' Go, go-up from hence, thou and 
the people which thou hast brought-up out of the land of Egypt, into the land 
which I sware to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, saying, To thy seed will I give 
it.' II ' And Moses took the Tent and pitched it without the Camp, a little way off 
from the Camp, and one called it Tent of Meeting ; and it came-to-pass i/iat every 
one seeking Yahveh went-forth unto the Tent of Meeting which was without the 
Camp. ^ And it came-to-pass, when Moses went-forth unto the Tent, that all the 
people arose, and they stood each at the opening of his tent, and they looked after 
Moses until his going into the Tent. ^ And it came-to-pass, when Moses went into 
the Tent, that the pillar-of-cloud came down, and stood at the opening of the Tent, 
and He spake with Moses. " And all the people saw the pillar of cloud standing 
at the entrance of the Tent. And all the people arose and worshipped, each at 
the entrance of his tent. " And Yahveh spake unto Moses face unto face, as a 
man speaketh unto his friend ; and he returned unto the Camp ; and his minister, 
Joshua, son of Nun, a young-man, did not depart out of the Tent. 

'2 And Moses said unto Yahveh, 'See! Thou sayest unto me, Bring-up this 
people ; and Thou hast not made-me-know whom Thou wilt send with me ; and 
Thou hast said, I know thee by name, and also thou hast found grace in Mine 
eyes. " And now, if, I pray, I have found grace in Thine eyes, make-me-to-know, 
I pray, Thy way, that I may know Thee ; that so I may find grace in Thine 
eyes ; for see that this nation is Thy people ! ' '"* And He said, ' My Presence 
shall go, and I will make thee rest.' '* And he said unto Him, * If Thy Presence 
go not, carry-us-not-up hence. '^ And by what shall it indeed be known that I 
have found grace in Thine eyes, I and Thy people ? Is it not in Thy going with 
us ? And so shall we be distinguished, I and Thy people, from all the people 
which is on the face of the ground.' '' And Yahveh said unto Moses, ' Also this 
thing, which thou hast said, will I do ; for thou hast found grace in Mine eyes, and 
I know thee by name.' '^ And he said, ' Make-me-see, I pray. Thy glory.' 
'^ And He said, ' I will make all My goodness to pass before thee, and I will call 
upon the name of Yahveh before thee, and I will be gracious to whom I will be 
gracious, and will compassionate whom I will compassionate.' '^'^Bnt. He said, 
' Thou art not able to see My face ; for man shall not see Me and live. ' 21 ^^^ 
Yahveh said, * Lo ! there is a place with Me, and thou shalt take thy station by 
the rock. " And it shall come-to-pass, at the passing-over of My glory, then I 
will place thee in a cleft of the rock, and will cover My palm upon thee until I 
have passed over. "^^ And I will take-away My hand, and thou shalt see My back, 
but My face shall not be seen.' 

henceforth to be the priestly tribe in Israel, to which reference seems to be made 
in D.x.8,9, J.xiii. 14,33, but which were necessarily stmck-out by the writer of the 
L.L., to make way for the elaborate priestly system in E.xxviii, &c. 

e E2 


XXXIV. ' And Yahveh said unto Moses, * Hew thee two tables of stone like 
the first, [and make thee an ark of wood],* and I will write upon the tables the 
words which were upon the first tables which thou brakedst, [and thou shalt place 
them in the ark]. * ^ And be ready for the morning, and thou shalt come-up in 
the morning unto Mount Sinai, and thou shalt stand before Me there upon the top 
of the Mount. ' And no man shall go-up with thee, and also no man shall be seen 
in all the Mount ; also the flocks and the herds — let them not feed opposite to that 
Mount.' * [And he made an ark of shittim-wood,]* and he hewed him two 
tables of stone like the first ; and Moses rose-early in the morning, and went-up 
unto Mount Sinai, as Yahveh commanded him, and he took in his hand the two 
tables of stone. 

*And Yahveh came-doAvn in the cloud, and stood with him there, and he 
called on the name of Yahveh. ^ For Yahveh passed-over before him and 
called, ' Yahveh, Yahveh, El merciful and gracious, slow of anger and abundant 
in kindness and truth, ^ keeping kindness for thousands, forgiving iniquity and 
transgression and sin, but who Mall not wholly acquit, visiting the iniquity of the 
fathers upon children and upon children's children, upon the third gena-ation and 
upon the fourth.' * And Moses hastened and bowed his head to the earth, and 
worshipped. |] ^s _^nd he was there with Yahveh forty days and forty nights ; 
bread he ate not, and water he drank not ; and He wrote upon the tables the words 
of the Covenant. || [And YAHVEH gave them unto Moses ; and he turned, and 
went-down from the Mount, and put them into the ark which he had made, 
as YAHVEH commanded him.*] 

^^ And it came-to-pass, when Moses came-down from Mount Sinai, and the two 
tables of the Testimony we7'e in the hand of Moses at his coming-down from the 
Mount, that Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone at His speaking 
with him. ^° And Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, and lo ! the 
skin of his face shone, and they feared to draw-near unto him. ^' And Moses 
called unto them, and Aaron and all the Assembly came-back unto him, and 
Moses spake unto them. ^^ ^^d afterwards all the children of Israel drew- 
near, and he commanded them all which Yahveh spake with him in Mount 
Sinai. 11 


X. '^ And Moses said to Hobab son of Reuel the Midianite, father-in-law of 
Moses, * "We are journeying unto the place of which Yahveh said, I will give it to 
you ; come with us and we will do thee good, for Yahveh hath spoken good con- 
cerning Israel. ^" And he said unto him, ' I will not go, but to my land and to 
my kindred will I go.' ^^ And he said, 'Forsake us not, I pray; for therefore 
hast thou known our camping in the wilderness, that thou mayest be to us for 

* See Lect.XVII for the reasons which lead to the conjecture that this passage 
originally contained the four clauses within [ ] in z/. 1, 4, 28, —which were neces- 
sarily struck-out by the writer of the L.L., when he inserted E.xxv, &c. 


eyes. ^^And it shall come-to-pass, if thou wilt go with us, yea, it shall come-to- 
pass that the good, which Yahveh will do with us, we will do to thee.' 

^^ And they journeyed from the Mount of Yaiiveh a way of three days, and 
the ark of the Covenant of Yahveh * was journeying before them a way of three 
days to search-out for them a resting-place, f '^ And the cloud of Yahveh was 
over them by day at their journeying from the Camp. ^* And it came-to-pass at 
the journeying of the ark that Moses said — 

* Arise, Yahveh, and let Thine enemies be scattered, 
And let those that hate Thee flee before thee V \ 

" And at its resting he said — 

' Return, Yahveh, 
Thou ten thousands of the thousands of Israel ! ' 

XI. ' And the people was as 7nen complaining of evil in the ears of Yahveh ; 
and Yahveh heard, and His anger was kindled, and the fire of Yahveh burnt 
among them, and devoured at the extremity of the Camp. ^ And the people cried 
unto Moses, and Moses prayed unto Yahveh, and the fire was quenched. ' And 
one called the name of that place Taberah {i.e. ' burning '), for the fire of Yahveh 
burnt among them. 

■^ And the rabble which was among them lusted a lust, and also the children of 
Israel wept again § and said, ' Who will make-us-eat flesh ? ^ We remember the 
fish which we ate in Egypt for nothing, the cucumbers, and the melons, and the 
leeks, and the onions, and the garlick. ^ And now our soul is dry ; there is 
nothing except this manna before our eyes.' 'Now the manna ivas as coriander 
seed, and its (eye) colour as the (eye) colour of bdellium. ^ The people turned- 
aside, and gathered it, and ground // with millstones or pounded it in a mortar, 
and boiled it in the pan, and made it into cakes ; and its taste was as the taste of 
the moisture of oil. ® And, at the coming-down of the dew upon the camp at 
night, the manna came-down upon it.^ 

'" And Moses heard the people weeping according to their families, each at the 
entrance of his tent ; and the anger of Yahveh was kindled gi-eatly, and in the 

* The O. S. uses here, x. 33, for the first time, * Ark of the Covenant of 
Yahveh,' which it employs again in xiv.44, an expression which the L.L. never 
uses. The L.L. says invariably 'ark of the Testimony,' E.xxv.22, xxvi.33,34, 

fThe ark is here carried before the host; but in ii.i7(L.L.) the 'Tent of 
Meeting' is to march 'in the midst of the camps,' that is, between Reuben, v.\(>, 
and Ephraim, 7/. 18, the second and third of the four camps of Israel. In x. 17, 
however, the * Tabernacle ' is to march between Judah and Reuben, the first and 
second of the four camps, whereas the 'holy things,' including the Ark, are to 
march between Reuben and Ephraim, z/.2i, as before, the former going-on in 
front in order that the Tabernacle might be set up against the others ' came ' with 
the ' holy things,' v.2\. 

\ See Lect.VII, pp.86-90, on the identity between this passage and Ps.lxviii. I. 

§ 'Again' — that is, after the 'complaining' just mentioned in v.\, for which 
they had been so severely punished. 

4 The L.L. repeats this story of the manna in E.xvi. 


eyes of Moses it was evil. " And Moses said unto Yahveh, ' Wherefore hast 
Thou done-evil to Thy servant, and wherefore have I not found grace in Thine 
eyes, to place the burden of all this people upon me ? ''^ Have I conceived all 
this people, or have I begotten it, that Thou shouldst say unto me, Bear it in thy 
bosom, as the nursing-father beareth the suckling, to the ground which Thou 
swarest to its fathers ? '' Whence have I flesh to give to all this people ? for they 
weep against me, saying, Give us flesh, that we may eat. *^ I am not able alone 
to bear all this people, for // is too heavy for me. '^ And, if Thou doest thus to 
me, slay me, I pray, outright, if I have found grace in Thine eyes, and let me not 
look at my wretchedness.' 

^^ And Yahveh said unto Moses, ' Gather me seventy men of the Elders of Israel, 
as to whom thou knoAvest that they are elders of the people and its officers ; and 
take thou them unto the Tent of Meeting, and let them present-themselves there 
with thee. '^ And I will come-down * and I will speak with thee there ; and I 
will take-back of the spirit which is upon thee, and place it upon them, and they 
shall bear with thee of the burden of the people, and thou shalt not bear it alone. 
" And unto the people thou shalt say, Sanctify-yourself for to-morrow and ye shall 
eat flesh, for ye have wept in the ears of Yahveh saying. Who will make-us-eat 
flesh ? for it was good for us in Egypt ; (and) so Yahveh shall give you flesh that 
ye may eat. ^^ Not one day shall ye eat, and not two days, and not five days, and 
not ten days, and not twenty days, ^^ but unto a whole month, until it come-forth 
out of your nostrils, and it become to you loathsome ; because ye have rejected 
Yahveh who is among you, and ye wept before Him saying. Wherefore is this 
thatvfQ have come-forth out of Egypt? ' ^i And Moses said, ' Six hundred thousand 
on foot are the people among whom I am : and Thou — Thou hast said, Flesh will I 
give them, that they may eat a whole month. 22 ghall the flocks and herds be 
slaughtered for them, that one may find for them ? or shall all the fish of the sea be 
gathered for them, that one may find for them?' ^3 And Yahveh said unto Moses, ' Is 
the hand of YAH veh short ? Now shalt thou see if my words shall meet thee or not. ' 

2* And Moses went-forth f and spake unto the people the words of Yahveh, 
and gathered seventy men of the Elders of the people, and made them stand 
around the Tent. " And Yahveh came-down in the cloud, and spake unto him ; 
and He took-back of the spirit which was upon him, and put // upon the seventy 
men, the Elders ; and it came-to-pass, when the spirit rested upon them, that they 
prophesied, and (added not) not again, ^e And there were left two men in the 
Camp, the name of the one Eldad, and the name of the second Medad, and the 
spirit rested upon them — for they were among those written, but they went not 
forth to the Tent, — and they prophesied in the Camp. '^'' And a young-man ran 
and told it to Moses and said, * Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the Camp ! ' 
2^ And Joshua son of Nun, the minister of Moses, one of his young men, answered 
and said, ' My lord Moses, restrain them ! ' ^9 And Moses said to him, ' Art thou 
jealous for me ? Would that all the people of Yahveh were prophets, that 

* In the L.L. the cloud 'abides 'upon the Tabernacle, ix.i8, E.xl.37; the 
idea of Yahveh ' coming-down ' as here, and * coming-dowTi in the cloud,' 2^.25, 
is peculiar to the O.S., E.xxxiii.9, xxxiv.5, N.xii.5, D.xxxi. 15, coffip. E.xix.9. 

t This expression, here and in 7^.26, comp. also v. 2,0, shows that the 'Tent of 
Meeting' was supposed to be outside the Camp, as in E.xxxiii.7-11, not in the 
very centre of it, as in the L.L. (N.ii.3,10,18,25). 


Yahveh would put His spirit upon them ! ' " And Moses (gathered) betook him- 
self into the Camp, he and the Elders of Israel. 

^' And a wind journeyed from Yahveh, and brought-over quails from the Sea, 
and left t/icm by the Camp, about a day's journey here and about a day's journey 
there roundabout the Camp, and about two cubits /ligh upon the face of the earth. 
'- And the people arose all that day and all that night and all the day of the 
morrow, and gathered the quails ; he who had little gathered ten homers ; and they 
spread them out everywhere for themselves roundabout the Camp. 

^^ While the flesh was yet between their teeth, before it was cut-off, then the 
anger of Yahveh was kindled against the people, and Yahveh smote among 
the people with a very great smiting. '* And one called the name of that place 
Kibroth-hattaavah (graves of lust), for there they buried the people who had 

"And from Kibroth-hattaavah the people journeyed to Hazeroth, and they were 
at Hazeroth. XII. • And Miriam spake and Aaron against Moses on account of 
the Cushite woman whom he had taken, for he had taken a Cushite woman. ^ And 
they said, ' Only by Moses hath Yahveh spoken ? Hath he not spoken also by 
us ? ' — and Yahveh heard. ^ Now the man Moses was very humble, more than 
any of the men who were on the face of the ground. * And Yahveh said sud- 
denly unto Moses, and unto Aaron, and unto Miriam, ' Come-forth, ye three, unto 
the Tent of Meeting ! ' — and they three went-forth. * And Yahveh came-down 
in the pillar of cloud, and stood at the opening of the Tent, and called Aaron and 
Miriam, and they two went-forth. * « And He said, ' Hear now, I pray. My words. 
If there shall be a prophet of Yahveh of yours, in a vision will I make-myself- 
kno'wn unto him, in a dream will I speak by him. Not so My servant Moses : in 
all My house is he faithful. « Mouth unto mouth will I speak with him, and with 
an appearance, and not in riddles, and the form of Yahveh shall he behold : 
and why have ye not feared to speak against My servant, against Moses ? ' ' And 
the anger of Yahveh was kindled against them, and He went. '" And the cloud 
departed from over the Tent,t and behold ! Miriam was leprous as snow ; and 
Aaron turned towards Miriam, and behold ! she was leprous. " And Aaron said 
unto Moses, ' O my lord ! lay not, I pray, upon us sin, w what we have done- 
foolishly and in what we have sinned. '^ Let her not, I pray, be as one dead, 
half of whose flesh is devoured at his coming-forth from his mother's womb.' 
"And Moses cried unto Yahveh saying, 'O El, I pray, give-healing, I pray, to 
her ! ' '^ And Yahveh said unto Moses, * And, had her father but spit in her 
face, would she not be ashamed seven days ? Let her be shut seven days without 
the Camp, and afterwards let her be gathered.' '^And Miriam was shut without 
the Camp seven days, and the people journeyed from Hazeroth, and camped in the 
wilderness of Paran. 

* In z'.4 Yahveh calls all three to 'come-forth' — i.e. out of the Camp — 'unto 
the Tent of Meeting,' which was set-up outside the Camp, E.xxxiii.7. Inz'.5 
Yahveh descends at the entrance of the Tent, and calls Miriam and Aaron who 
*came-forth' from where they were standing, i.e. came-forward at the summons, 
leaving Moses standing as before. 

t But, according to the L.L., the cloud was always 'upon the Tabernacle, to 
dwell upon it,' ix.22. 


XIII. ' And Yahveh spake unto Moses, saying, * ' Send -thee -forth men and 
search-out the land of Canaan which I give to the children of Israel : one man 
for each tribe of their fathers shall ye send, everyone a prince among them.' ^And 
Moses sent-thero -forth from the wilderness of Paran by the mouth of Yahveh, 
all those men heads of the children of Israel. | '^ And Moses sent-them-forth to 
search-out the land of Canaan, and said unto them, * Go-up this way by the 
Negeb, and go-up into the mountain ; ' ^^ and see the land what it is, and the 
people that dwelleth upon it, whether it is strong or weak, whether few or 
many ; '^and what the land is upon which they dwell, whether it is good or evil, 
and what the cities in which they dwell, whether in encampment or in fortresses ; 
"^^ and what the land is, whether it is fat or lean, M^hether there is wood in it or 
not : and be ye (strong) courageous, and take of the fruit of the land.' Now the 
days were the days of the firstfruits of the grapes. || " So they went-up by the 
Negeb, and came to Hebron, and there were Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmi, off- 
spring of the Anak : and Hebron was built seven years before Zoan of Egypt. 
'' And they came to the brook Eschol and cut-down from thence a branch and 
one cluster of grapes, and they bare it on a pole by two men, and of the pome- 
granates, and of the figs. 21 That place one called the brook Eschol [i.e. ' cluster'), 
on account of the cluster which the children of Israel cut down from thence. ]| 

2« And they went and came unto Moses and unto Aaron and unto all the 
Assembly of the children of Israel, unto the wilderness of Paran || ; and they 
brought-back word to them and to all the Assembly, and they showed them the 
fruit of the land, ^r ^j^^ ^^y related to him and said, ' We came unto the land 
to which thou sentest-us-forth, and truly it is flowing with milk and honey, and 
this is its fruit, ^s Nevertheless, the people is strong that dwells in the land, and 
the cities are fortified, very great, aud also the sons of Anak we saw there, 
^^ Amalek dwells in the land of the Negeb, and the Hittite, and the Jebusite, and 
the Amorite dwell in the Mountain, and the Canaanite dwells by the Sea, and by 
(hand) side of Jordan, 

^^ And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and he said, * Let us surely go-up 
and possess it ; for we shall certainly be able for it,' ^' And the men who M^ent- 
up with him said, * We are not able to go-up unto the people, for it is stronger 
than we. || ^^ And there we saw the giants, sons of Anak of the giants ; and we 
were in our eyes as grasshoppers, and so were we in their eyes,' 

XIV, * And all the Assembly lifted-up and gave-forth their voice, and the 
people wept that night, || " And Yahveh said unto Moses, ' How long will this 
people despise Me ? and how long will they not believe in Me for all the signs 
which I have done among them ? ^^ I will smite it with pestilence and dispossess 
it, and I will make thee become a nation greater and mightier than it.' '^ And 
Moses said unto Yahveh, 'The Egyptians have both heard that Thou broughtest- 
up this people from the midst of it by Thy power, '*• and they have told it unto 
the inhabitants of this land : they have heard that Thou, Yahveh, art among this 
people, that Thou art seen, Yahveh, eye to eye, and Thy cloud stands over 
them, and in a pillar of cloud Thou goest before them by day and in a pillar of 
fire by night '^ And, if Thou shalt put-to-death this people as one man, then 
the nations who have heard Thy fame will (say) speak saying, ^^ Because of 
Yahveh's not being able to bring-in this people unto the land which He sware 
to them, therefore He slaughtered them in the wilderness, '' And now, I pray, 
let the power of my Lord be great as Thou hast spoken, saying '* Yaha'EH, slow 


of anger and abundant in kindness, forgiving iniquity and transgression, but who 
will not wholly acquit, visiting the iniquity of fathers upon children, upon the 
third generation and upon the fourth. '^ Pardon, I pray, the iniquity of this 
people, for Thy kindness is great, and as Thou hast forgiven this people from 
Egypt even until now.' -"And Yahveh said, ' I will pardon according to thy 
word. 21 Notwithstanding, as I live, the whole earth shall be filled with the 
glory of Yahveh. " Yor all these men, who saw My glory and My signs which 
I did in Eg^'pt and in the wilderness, and have tempted Me these ten times, and 
have not hearkened unto My voice, — '■^^they shall not see the land which I sware 
to their fathers, and all that despise Me shall not see it.* "^^Bnt my servant 
Caleb, because another spirit was with him, and he fulfilled after Me, therefore 
will I bring him unto the land whither he went, and his seed shall possess it. 
" Now the Amalekite and the Canaanite dwell in the (valley) hollow. To-morrow 
turn and take-your-journey into the wilderness by the way of the Red Sea.'|| 

^^ And Moses told these words unto all the children of Israel, and the people 
bewailed gi-eatly. ■*" And they rose early in the morning, and went-up unto the 
top of the mountain saying, * Here we are, and let us go-up unto the place which 
.AHVEH said, for we have sinned.' ••' And Moses said, 'Wherefore is this that 
ye are transgressing the (mouth) word of Yahveh ? Yet it shall not prosper. 
*2 Go-not-up, for Yahveh is not among you, that ye may not be smitten before 
your enemies. '•^ For the Amalekite and Canaanite are there before you, and ye 
shall fall by the sword ; for therefore have ye turned -back fi-om after Yahveh 
that Yahveh may not be among you.' ■•* And they presumed to go-up unto the 
top of the mountain ; but the ark of the Covenant of Yahveh and Moses departed 
not out of the midst of the Camp.f "And the Amalekite came-down and the 
Canaanite that dM^elt in that mountain, and smote them, and beat-them-down, 
unto Hormah. 1| 

XVI. ' And there rose-up || Dathan and Abiram, sons of Eliab, son of Pallu, 
son of Reuben ; \ 2» and they (rose-up before = ) resisted Moses. || ^- For Moses 
sent to call Dathan and Abiram, sons of Eliab ; and they said, * We will not 
come-up. '^ Is it little that thou hast brought-us-up out of a land flowing with 

* The O.S. in 7^.20-24 says nothing about the forty years' wandering in the 

t Not a word is here said about Aaron or about the Levites being in attendance 
to carry the ark, as the L.L. would have required. The statement, that the ark 
and Moses 'departed not out of the midst of the Camp,' does not imply that they 
were in the centre of it, in accordance with N.iii.38, any more than the similar 
expression in E.xxxiii. 1 1 implies that Joshua took post in the centre of the Tent of 
Meeting. In fact, the ' Tent,' according to the O.S., was, strictly speaking, 
outside the Camp, E.xxxiii. 7, 'afar off,' says the E.V., but rather 'a short distance 
off,' 'some little way off, as it were a bow-shot,' G.xxi. 16 ; and Moses, accordingly, 
went ' out of the Camp ' each time that he went to consult Yahveh. But in a 
looser sense, and with reference to the expedition of the Israelites to the top of 
the Mountain, the ' Tent ' would be reckoned as within the whole encampment. 
The meaning of the passage is plain ; neither Moses nor the ark marched out with 
the warriors. 

I Graf reads, as here, 'son of Pallu, son of Reuben,' for 'and On, son of 
Pelcth, sons of Reuben.' 


milk and honey to put-us-to-death in the wilderness, that thou wilt altogether 
make-thyself-prince over us ? '* Also thou hast not brought us into a land flowing 
with milk and honey, and given us inheritance of field and vineyard. Wilt thou 
pierce-out the eyes of these men? We will not come-up.' '* And it (anger) was 
kindled to Moses greatly, and he said unto Yahveh, * Turn-not Thou unto their 
offering ; not one ass have I taken from them ; I have not done evil to one of them.' || 
23 And Yahveh spake unto Moses saying, ^^ < Speak unto the Assembly saying, 
Get-ye-up from around the tabernacle of || Dathan and Abiram.' "And Moses 
rose-up and went unto Dathan and Abiram, and the Elders of Israel went after 
him. -* And he spake unto the Assembly saying, * Go-aside, I pray, from beside 
the tents of these wicked men, and touch not anything that is theirs, lest ye be 
taken-off in all their sin.' ^'' And they went-up from beside the tabernacle of || 
Dathan and Abiram roundabout ; and Dathan and Abiram came-forth, standing 
at the entrance of their tents, and their wives, and their children, and their little- 
ones. ^ And Moses said, ' By this shall ye know that Yahveh hath sent me to 
do all these works, that not of my heart have I done them. 29 if like the death of 
all men these shall die, and a visitation of all men shall be visited upon them, 
Yahveh hath not sent me. ^° But, if Yahveh shall create a (creature) new-thing, 
and the ground open its mouth and swallow them, and all that they have, and 
they go-down alive to the grave, then ye shall know that these men have despised 
Yahveh.' ^^ And it came-to-pass, at his finishing to speak all these words, that 
the ground, which was under them, was cleft asunder, ^^ ^^d the earth opened 
her mouth, and swallowed them and their households, both all the men || and all 
the substance. ^^ And they went-doMm, and all which they had, alive to the 
grave ; and the earth covered over them, and they perished from the midst of the 
Congregation. ^^ And all Israel, who were roundabout them, fled at the (voice) 
cry of them, for they said, ' Lest the earth swallow us ! ' || 

XX, ' And the children of Israel, all the Assembly, came into the wilderness of 
Zin in the first month ;* and the people dwelt in Kadesh,t and Miriam died there 
and was buried there, || ^* And Moses sent messengers out of Kadesh unto the 
king of Edom, saying, ' Thus saith thy brother Israel, Thou —thou knowest all 
the travail which hath found us, ^^ For our fathers went-down to Egypt, and we 
dwelt in Egypt many days, and the Egyptians did evil to us and to our fathers. 
'^ And we cried unto Yahveh, and He heard our voice, and sent an Angel, and 
brought-us-forth out of Egypt ; and lo ! we are at Kadesh, a city on the extremity 
of thy territory. *^ Let us pass-over, I pray, through thy land ; we will not pass- 
over through field or vineyard, and we will not drink water of the well ; by the 
king's way will we go ; we will not turn-aside right or left, until we shall pass- 
over thy territory.' '*And Edom said unto him, 'Thou shalt not pass-over 
through me, lest with sword I go -forth to meet thee, ' *^ And the children of 

* The ' first month ' is evidently the first month of the second year ; whereas on 
the traditionary view it is apparently the second month of the. fortieth year, that is, 
there must be supposed either here, or at z'. 14, a sudden leap without notice of 
thirty-eight years, 

+ This ' Kadesh' in the 'wilderness of Zin' is undoubtedly Petra, near Mount 
llor, z/.aa, and so in xxxiii.36, D.i.40; whereas 'Kadesh' in the 'wilderness of 
Paraji,' xiii.26,xxxii.8, D.i. I9,ix.23, is distinguished as 'Kadesh-Barnea.' 


Israel said unto him, ' By the high-road will we go-up, and, if we drink of thy 
water, I and my cattle, then I will give its pay : only it is nothing— let me pass- 
over on foot.' -° And he said, ' Thou shalt not pass-over ; ' and Edom went-forth 
to meet him with (heavy) much people and with a strong hand, ^i And Edom 
refused to give Israel passage-over through his territory ; and Israel turned-aside 
from beside him. -^nd they journeyed from Kadesh, and they came, the 
children of Israel, all the Assembly, to Mount Hor. || 

XXI. ' Now the Canaanite, king of Arad, dwelling in the Negeb, had heard 
that Israel came by the way of the spies,* and had fought with Israel, and had 
taken captive some of them. ^ And Israel vowed a vow to Yahveh and said, ' If 
Thou wilt indeed give this people into my hand, then I will utterly destroy their 
cities.' 3 And Yahveh hearkened unto the voice of Israel, and gave the Canaanite, 
and he utterly-destroyed them and their cities, and one called the name of the 
place Honiiah (utter-destruction). 

* And they journeyed from Mount Hor by the way of the Red Sea to go-round 
the land of Edom ; and the soul of the people was (shortened) distressed by the 
way. 'And the people spake against Elohim and against Moses, 'Wherefore 
have ye brought-us-up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness ? for there is no 
bread and no water, and our soul loathes at the light bread.' « And Yahveh 
sent among the people fiery serpents, and they bit the people, and much people 
died out of Israel. ^ And the people came unto Moses and said, ' We have sinned, 
for we have spoken against Yahveh and against thee ; pray unto Yahveh that 
He may take-away from us the serpents ; ' and Moses prayed on behalf of the 
people. 8 And Yahveh said unto Moses, ' Make-thee a fiery-serpent, and place 
it on a pole : and it shall come-to-pass that every-one, who is bitten, shall look at 
it and live. ' ^ And Moses made a serpent of brass, and placed it on the pole ; and 
it came-to-pass, if the serpent stung a man, then he looked at the serpent of 
brass and lived. 

'"And the children of Israel journeyed and camped at Oboth. "And they 
journeyed from Oboth, and camped at Ije-Abiram, in the wilderness which is 
before Moab, towards the rising of the sun. '^ jr^om thence they journeyed, and 
camped at the brook Zared. >^ From thence they journeyed and camped on the 
other side of Arnon, which is in the wilderness that goeth-forth out of the border 
cf the Amorite ; for Amon is the border of Moab, between Moab and the Amorite. || 
'« And from thence to Beer ; that is the well [beer), of which Yahveh said to 
Moses, ' Gather the people, and I will give them water.' "Then Israel sang this 
song :— 

' Spring up, O well ! 

Sing thus to it ! 

The well, the princes digged it, 

Nobles of the people bored it. 

With the ruler's-staff, with their staves.' 

[And the children of Israel journeyed from the wells of Bene-Jaakan to 
Moserah: there died Aaron, and he was buried there. From thence they 

* That is, the way by which the spies had entered Canaan just before, xiii.22, 
and by which the Israelites went up, xiv.44, and were defeated by the Amalekites 
and Canaanites = the king of Arad, v.^S- 


journeyed to Gudgodah, and from Gudgodah to Jotbathah, a land of springs 

of water,] * and from the wilderness to Mattanah, '^ and from Mattanah to Naha- 
liel, and from Nahaliel to Bamoth, '-"and from Bamoth to the valley which is in 
the field of Moab, the top of Pisgah, and looketh towards the front of (Jeshimon) 
the wilderness. 

2' And Israel sent messengers unto Sihon king of the Amorites saying, " < Let 
me pass-over through thy land ; we will not turn-aside through field or vineyard ; 
we will not drink water of the well ; by the king's way will we go, until we pass- 
over thy territory,' ^s^j^^j Sihon did not give Israel passage-over through his 
territory ; and Sihon gathered all his people, and went-forth to meet Israel to the 
wilderness, and came to Jahzah, and fought vdth Israel. ^^And Israel smote 
him with the edge of the sword, and possessed his land from Amon unto Jabbok, 
unto the children of Ammon ; for the border of the children of Ammon was 
strong. 2s y^j^(j Israel took all these cities, and Israel dwelt in all the cities of the 
Amorites, in Heshbon and in all its (daughters) villages. -^ For Heshbon was the 
city of Sihon king of the Amorites, and he had fought with the former king of 
Moab, and had taken all his land out of his hand unto Amon. || ^* So Israel 
dwelt in the land of the Amorites, ^- And Moses sent to spy- out Jaazer, and they 
captured its (daughters) villages, and dispossessed the Amorites who were there. 

^^ And they turned and went-up the way of Bashan : and Og, king of Bashan, 
w^ent-forth to meet them, he and his people, to war at Edrei. ^^ And Yahveh 
said unto Moses, ' Fear him not ; for into thy hand have I given him and all his 
people and all his land ; and thou shalt do as thou hast done to Sihon, king of the 
Amorites, who dwelt in Heshbon.' ^^And they smote him and his sons, and all 
his people, until one left him no remnant, and they possessed his land. 

XXII. II 'And Balak, son of Zippor, saw all that Israel had done to the 
Amorites. ^ And Moab was exceedingly afraid because of the people, for it wai^ 
numerous, and Moab was distressed because of the children of Israel. ■* And 
Moab said unto the Elders of Midian, * Now shall this congregation lick-up all that 
is round-about us, as the ox licketh-up the verdure of the field ; ' and Balak, son 
of Zippor, was king of Moab at that time. * And he sent messengers unto Balaam, 
son of Beor, to Pethor, which is by the River of the children of his people, to call 
for him saying, ' Lo ! a people hath come-forth out of Egypt ; lo ! it hath 
covered the eye of the land, and it is dwelling over-against me. ® And now, I 
pray you, curse for me this people, for it is mightier than I ; perhaps I may be able 
that we smite it, and I may drive it out of the land ; for I know that whom thou 
blessest is blessed, and whom thou cursest is cursed.' 

' And the Elders of Moab and the Elders of Midian went, and rewards-of-divi' 
nation in their hands ; and they came unto Balaam, and spake unto him the words 
of Balak, ^ And he said unto them, ' Lodge here to-night, and I will bring you 
back word, as Yahveh shall speak unto me ; ' and the princes of Moab dwelt 
with Balaam. ® And Elohim came unto Balaam and said, ' Who are these men 
with thee?' i" And Balaam said unto Elohim, ' Balak, son of Zippor, king of 
Moab, hath sent unto me, sayings " Lo ! the people that is coming-forth out of 
Egypt, and it covers the eye of the land — now come, pierce it for me ; perhaps I 

* This passage, which now stands in a most unsuitable place, D.x.6,7, probably 
stood originally somewhere in this chapter ; see Lect. XVII. p. 238. But some 
other fragments of this itinerary may be missing. 


may be able to fight with it, that I may drive it out.' '-And Elohim said unto 
Balaam, ♦ Thou shalt not go with them ; thou shalt not curse the people ; for 
it is blessed,' " And Balaam rose-up in the morning, and said unto the princes of 
Balak, 'Go into your land, for Yahveh refuses to let me go with you.' '♦ And 
the princes of Moab rose-up, and came unto Balak and said, ' Balaam refuseth to 
come with us,' 

"And Balak sent princes again, more numerous and more honourable than 
they, '« And they came unto Balaam and said to him, ' Thus saith Balak, son of 
Zippor, Be not, I pray, withheld from coming unto me, " For I will greatly 
honour thee, and all which thou shalt say unto me I will do : and come, I pray, 
pierce for me this people,' '"And Balaam answered and said unto the servants of 
Balak, * If Balak would give-me the fulness of his house of silver and gold, I 
may not transgress the (mouth) word of Yahveh my Elohim, to do a small thing 
or a great. *^ And now abide, I pray, here, you also, to-night, and I shall know 
what Yahveh speaks again with me,' ^°And Elohim came unto Balaam by 
night, and said to him, ' If the men have come to call for thee, arise, go with them; 
but only the thing which I shall speak with thee, it shalt thou do,' 

2* And Balaam arose in the morning, and saddled his ass, and went with the 
princes of Moab, 2- And the anger of Elohim was kindled because he was 
going, and the angel of Yahveh stood in the way for an adversary to him ; and 
he was riding upon his ass, and two young men with him, ^^ And the ass saw the 
Angel of Yahveh standing in the way and his sword drawn in his hand ; and 
the ass turned-aside out of the way, and went in the field, and Balaam smote the 
ass to make her turn-aside into the way. ^4 ^^d the Angel of Yahveh stood in 
a narrow-path of the vineyards, a fence on this side and a wall on that, " And 
the ass saw the Angel of Yahveh, and pressed herself against the wall, and he 
smote her again, ^^ And the Angel of Yahveh passed-over again, and stood in a 
strait place, where there was no turning-aside to the right-hand or to the left, 
2' And the ass saw the Angel of Yahveh, and she lay do\vn under Balaam, and 
Balaam's anger was kindled, and he smote the ass with a stick, ^s ^^^^ Yahveh 
opened the mouth of the ass, and she said to Balaam, ' What have I done to thee, 
that thou hast smitten me these three times ? ' ^^ And Balaam said to the ass, 
' Because thou hast played-tricks with me : would that there were a sword in my 
hand, for now had I killed thee ! ' ^^ And the ass said unto Balaam, ' Am I not 
thine ass upon which thou hast ridden ever since thou wast unto this day ? Have I 
been at all accustomed to do this to thee ? ' And he said, ' No.' ^i And Yahveh 
opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the Angel of Yahveh standing in the 
way, and His sword drawn in His hand ; and he bowed his head and worshipped 
on his face. ^^ And the Angel of Yahveh said unto him, ' For what hast 
thou smitten thine ass these three times ? Lo ! I have come-forth for an adversary : 
for thy way hath been perverse before Me. ^^ And the ass saw Me, and turned- 
aside before me these three times : perhaps, she hath turned aside because of My 
presence : for now both thee had I slain and her had I let live.' ^* And Balaam 
said unto the Angel of Yahveh, ' I have sinned, for I knew not that Thou 7uast 
standing to meet me in the way : and now, if it is evil in thine eyes, I will get-me 
back.' " And the Angel of Yahveh said unto Balaam, ' Go with the men ; only 
the word that I shall speak unto thee, that shalt thou speak.' And Balaam went 
with the princes of Balak. 

" And Balak heard that Balaam had come, and he went-forth to meet him unto 


the dty of Moab which is on tlie border of Anion, which is on the extremity of 
the border. ^' And Balak said unto Balaam, ' Have I not earnestly sent unto thee 
to call for thee ? Wherefore hast thou not come unto me ? Shall I not truly be 
able to honour thee ? ' ^* And Balaam said unto Balak, ' Lo ! I have come unto 
thee : now shall I be able at all to speak anything ? the word which Elohim shall 
place in my mouth, that shall I speak.' ^^And Balaam went with Balak, and 
they came to Kirjath-Huzoth. •"• And Balak sacrificed oxen and sheep, and sent 
for Balaam, and for the princes who were with him. *^ And it came-to-pass in the 
morning that Balak took Balaam and brought-him-up to Bamoth-Baal, and he saw 
from thence the extremity * of the people. 

XXIII. ^ And Balaam said unto Balak, ' Build-me here seven altars, and pre- 
pare for me here seven steers and seven rams.' ^ And Balak did as Balaam spake ; 
and Balak and Balaam ofifered-up a steer and a ram upon each altar. ^ And 
Balaam said to Balak, ' Stand by the burnt -offering, and I will go : perhaps, 
Yahveh will (meet) come to meet me, and the word — what he shall show me — 
then I will tell to thee : ' and he went to an eminence. * And Elohim met 
Balaam, and he said unto Him, ' The seven altars I have arranged, and I have 
offered a steer and a ram upon each altar. ' ^ And Yahveh placed a word in 
Balaam's mouth, and said, ' Return unto Balak, and thus shalt thou speak.' " And 
he returned unto him, and lo ! he was standing by his burnt- offering, he and all the 
princes of Moab, '' And he lifted-up his parable and said— 

* From Aran doth Balak lead me. 

The king of Moab from the mountains of the East, saying, 
Come curse for me Jacob, 
And come, execrate Israel. 

* How shall I pierce whom El hath not pierced ? 

And how shall I execrate whom Yahveh hath not execrated ? 
^ For from the tops of the rocks I see him, 

And from the heights I behold him ; 

Lo ! the people dwelleth alone, 

And among the nations it doth not reckon-itself. 
"Who hath counted the dust of Jacob, 

Or the number of the fourth of Israel ? 

May my soul die the death of the upright, 

And may my last end be like him ! ' 

" And Balak said unto Balaam, ' What hast thou done to me ! To pierce mine 
enemies I took thee, and lo ! thou hast altogether blessed ! ' *2 ^.nd he answered 
and said, ' What Yahveh shall place in my mouth, shall I not observe to speak ? ' 
" And Balak said unto him, * Come, I pray, with me unto another place, from 
whence thou shalt see him ; only his extremity shalt thou see, and of all of him 
thou shalt not see ; and pierce him for me from thence.' '* And he took him to 
the field of Zophim, unto the top of Pisgah ; and he built seven altars, and 
offered a steer and a ram upon each altar. '*And he said unto Balak, 'Stand 
thus by thy burnt -offering, and I will meet thus.' '« And Yahveh met Balaam, 
and placed a word in his mouth, and said, ' Return unto Balak, and thus shalt 

* Balaam saw 'the extremity,' i.e., the farthest portion — and therefore the 
whole — of the people. 


thou speak.' "And he came unto him, and lo ! he was standing by his burnt- 
offering, and the princes of Moab with him : and Balak said to him, ' What hath 
Yahveh spoken?' '^And he took-up his parable and said : — 

* Arise, Balak, and hear ! 

Give-ear to me, thou son of Zippor ! 
'^ El is not a man, that He should lie, 

Nor a son of man, that lie should repent ; 

Hath He not said, and shall He not do — 

And spoken, and shall He not confirm? 
2° Lo ! to bless have I received ; 

He hath blessed, and I will not reverse. 
*' He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, 

And He hath not seen perverseness in Israel j 

Yahveh his Elohim is with him, 

And the shout of a King is in him. 
'2 El brought-them-forth out of Egypt ; 

He has like a buffalo's speed. 
23 For there is no enchantment against Jacob, 

And there is iio divination against Israel. 

At the proper time it shall be said of Jacob and of Israel, 

What hath El wrought ! 
2^ Lo ! the people as a lioness shall arise, 

And as a lion shall lift-itself-up ; 

He shall not lie-down till he devour the prey, 

And the blood of the slain shall he drink.' 

" And Balak said unto Balaam, * Neither pierce it all, nor bless it all. ' ^e p^^^ 
Balaam answered and said unto Balak, ' Spake I not unto thee, saying, All 
that Yahveh shall speak with me, that will I do ? ' 27 p^^^ Balak said unto 
Balaam, ' Come, I pray, I will take thee unto another place ; perhaps, it will be 
right in the eyes of Elohim to curse it for me from thence.' ^s^j^^j Balak took 
Balaam to the top of Peor, that looketh (in front) east of the wilderness (Jeshi- 
mon). 29 p^xA Balaam said unto Balak, * Build me here seven altars, and prepare 
me here seven steers and seven rams. ' ^^ And Balak did as Balaam said, and 
offered a steer and a ram upon each altar. 

XXIV. ' And Balaam saw that it was good in the eyes of Yahveh to bless 
Israel ; and he went not, as time by time, to meet enchantments, but he set his 
face towards the wilderness. ^ And Balaam lifted-up his eyes, and saw Israel 
tabernacling by its tribes, and the spirit of Elohim was upon him, ' and he took- 
up his parable and said : — 

* Balaam, the son of Beor, affirms. 

And the man, whose eyes are shut, affirms, 

* He who hears the words of El, affirms, 
Falling into a trance, but with eyes uncovered— 

* How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob, 
Thy tabernacles, O Israel ! 

* As valleys are they stretched out, 
As gardens by the River, 


As aloes Ihat Yahveh has planted, 
As cedars by the waters. 
' He maketh waters flow from his buckets, 

And his seed is in many waters ; 

And higher than Agag * shall be his king, 

And his kingdom shall be exalted. 
* El brings-him-forth out of Egypt, 

He has like a buffalo's speed ; 

He shall eat-up nations his adversaries. 

And their bones shall he break, 

And zuith his arro\vs shall he smite. 
^ He stooped, he lay-down as a lion. 

Even as a lioness — who shall rouse him ? 

Those blessing thee shall be blessed, 

And those cursing thee shall be cursed. ' 

"And Balak's anger was kindled against Balaam, and he smote his hands ; and 
Balak said unto Balaam, ' To pierce mine enemies have I called thee, and lo ! 
thou hast altogether blessed them these three times. " And now, flee-thee unto 
thy place ; I said, I would altogether honour thee, but lo ! Yahveh hath kept- 
thee-back from honour.' ^^^^d Balaam said unto Balak, ' Did I not speak unto 
thy messengers, whom thou sentest unto me, saying, ^^ If Balak would give me the 
fulness of his house of silver and gold, I shall not be able to go-beyond the (mouth) 
word of Yahveh, to do a good-thing or an evil out of my heart : what Yahveh 
shall speak, that will I speak ? " And now, lo ! I go to my people : come, let 
me counsel thee what this people shall do to thy people in the latter-end of the 
days.' '^And he took-up his parable and said : — 

' Balaam, the son of Beor, affirms, 

And the man, whose eyes are shut, affirms, 
•^ He, who hears the words of El, affirms. 

And who knows the knowledge of the Highest, 

Who sees the visions of Shaddai, 

Falling into a trance, but with eyes uncovered — 
1' I see him, but not now ! 

I behold him, but not near ! 

A Star has (stepped-forth) appeared out of Jacob, 

And a Sceptre has arisen out of Israel, 

And hath smitten the (corners) temples of Moab, 

And the crown of the head of all the sons of pride. 
'8 And Edom shall be a possession, 

Yea, Seir shall be a possession— his enemies ; 

But Israel shall be (making) gaining force, f 

* We have here a sign of the age when this passage was written, in connexion 
with iS.xv, viz., about the time when the glory of Agag had just passed away 
and was remembered as a thing of the last generation. 

fThe manifest allusions in v. 17-19 to David and his conquests over Moab, 
Edom, &c., seem plainly to show that this prophecy of Balaam was composed in 


'^ And one shall rule out of Jacob, 
And shall destroy the remnant out of the city.' 

^° And he saw Amalek, and he took-up his parable and said : — 

' The beginning of the nations is Amalek, 
And his end — he perisheth for ever.' 

^' And he saw the Kenite, and he took-up his parable and said : — 

* Strong is thy dwelling, 

And ihoii puttest in the rock thy nest {ken) ; 
22 Yet (Aai/i) the Kenite shall be for sweeping-away ; 
How long ere Asshur carries-thee captive ! ' 

" And he took-up his parable and said : — 

* Alas ! who shall live after El's (placing) ordaining this ! 
2* And ships from the (hand) coast of Chittim, 

And they shall humble Asshur, and they shall humble Eber, 
And also it perisheth for ever ! ' 

25 And Balaam arose, and he went and returned to his place, * and also Balak 

XXV. * And Israel dwelt in Shittim, and the people began to commit- whoredom 
with the daughters of Moab. ^ And they called for the people to the sacrifices of 
their Elohim. ^ And Israel joined-itself to Baal-Peor, and the anger of Yahveh 
was kindled against Israel. ■• And Yahveh said unto Moses, * Take all the heads 
of the people, and hang themf before Yahveh over-against the sun, that the 
fierceness of Yahveh's anger may turn-back from Israel.' * And Moses said unto 
the Judges of Israel, * Slay-ye each his men, those joined to Baal-Peor.' || 

XXXII. • And the children of Reuben and the children of Gad had much cattle, 
veiy mighty, and they saw the land of Jaazer and the land of liilead, and behold ! 
the place was a place for cattle. ^^ And Moses gave to them — to the children of 
Gad and to the children of Reuben and to the half-tribe of Manassehson of Joseph 
— the kingdom of Sihon king of the Amorites and the kingdom of Og king of 
Bashan, the land with its cities in the coasts, the cities of the land roundabout. | || 

'^ And they came near unto him and said, * Folds for sheep let us build for our 
cattle here and cities for our little-ones. *^ And we will arm ourselves in full 
panoply before the children of Israel, until we have brought them unto their place ; 
and our little-ones shall dwell in the fortified cities because of the inhabitants of 
the land. '^ We will not return to our houses, until the children of Israel have in- 
herited each his inheritance. '^ For we will not inherit with them across the Jordan 

David's age, at a time when his might was still advancing, and Edom had not yet 
been subdued, 2S.viii. 14, nor Ammon conquered. See Lect.VII.pp.94-6, 

♦That is, he returned to his home beyond the Euphrates, xxii.5. The O.S. 
therefore knew nothing about Balaam's evil counsel, or of his fate and the war 
against Midian, which belong to the L. L. (xxxi.8, 16). 

+ ' Take all the heads of the people,' i.e. with thee as witnesses or counsellors, 
eom/>. E.xvii.5,N.xx.25, 'and hang them,' :.e. the offenders. 

t See (VI. 120) for the reasons which support the conjecture that v.'^^ followed 
originally v.l. 

F F 


and further on : for our inheritance has come to us across the Jordan eastward. 
2" And Moses said unto them, * If ye will do this thing — if ye will arm-yourselves 
before Yahveh for war, 2' and every armed-man of you pass-over the Jordan before 
Yahveh, until He have expelled His enemies before Him, "and the land be sub- 
dued before Yahveh — then afterwards ye shall return and be guiltless with Yahveh 
and with Israel ; and this land shall be to you a possession before Yahveh. ^^ But, 
if ye will not do so, lo ! your sin is against Yahveh, and know that your sin it will 
find you, ^i Build yourselves cities for your little-ones and folds for your sheep : 
and what goeth out of your mouth do. ' || 

^* So the children of Gad built Dibon, and Ataroth, and Aroer, ^^and Atroth, 
Shophan, and Jaazer, and Jobehah, ^"^and Beth-Nimrah, and Beth-Haran — fenced 
cities and folds of sheep, 

^^ And the children of Reuben built Heshbon, and Elealeh, and Kiriathiam, 
^^ and Nebo, and Baal-Meon (changed as to name), and Sibmah ; and they called 
by names the names of the cities which they built, 

^^ And the children of Machir, son of Manasseh, went to Gilead, and captured 
it ; and he dispossessed the Amorite who was in it. ''° And Moses gave Gilead to 
Machir, son of Manasseh, and he dwelt in it, 

" And Jair, son of Manasseh, went and captured their small towns (havvoth), 
and he called them Hawoth-Jair, 

•*'- And Nobah went and captured Kenath and her (daughters) villages, and called 
Nobah by his name, |j 


XXXI. " And Yahveh said unto Moses, * Lo ! thy days have come to die : call 
Joshua, and take-your-stand in the Tent of Meeting, and I will command him,' 
And Moses went, and Joshua, and took-their-stand in the Tent of Meeting, '* And 
Yahveh appeared in the Tent in a pillar of cloud, and the pillar of cloud stood at 
the entrance of the Tent. || '-^^ And He commanded Joshua, the son of Nun, and 
said, ' Be strong and be firm ; for thou shalt bring the children of Israel into the 
land which I sware to them, and I will be with thee.' || 

XXXIV, » And Moses, the servant of Yahveh, died there in the land of Moab 
by the mouth of Yahveh, « And one buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, 
opposite to Beth-Peor ; but no man knoweth of his grave unto this day, || >° And 
there arose not a prophet any more in Israel like Moses, whom Yahveh knew face 
unto face. 

The passages in the Book of Joshua belonging to the 0,S. are as follows :— i. 
i-2,ii. i-24,iii. i,5-9,ii-i7,iv, 1-12,14-18,20-23, v, 1,9, 13-15, vi, i-i8,20-24%25- 
27,vii, 2-6, 10-26 (except z',25'=),viii, i-29,ix.3-i5», i6,22-27*,x, i-ii,i5-43,xi. 1,2, 
4-20, xiii, i-2i«,23-3i,33,xv,xvi, xvii. i,2,7-i8,xviii, xix. 1-50, xxii. 7, xxiv. 28-30, 



From the Edinburgh Review for Janitary^ 1870. 

* From the dawn of organised Paganism in the Eastern world to the final es- 
tablishment of Christianity in the Western, the Cross was undoubtedly one of the 
commonest and most sacred of symbolical monuments. . , . Apart from any dis- 
tinctions of social and intellectual superiority, of caste, colour, nationality, or loca- 
tion in either hemisphere, it appears to have been the aboriginal possession of every 
people in antiquity, . . . Diversified forms of the symbol are delineated more or 
less artistically, according to the progress achieved in civilisation at the period, on 
the ruined walls of temples and palaces, on natural rocks and sepulchral galleries, 
on the hoariest monoliths and the rudest statuary, on coins, medals, and vases of 
every description, and, in not a few instances, are preserved in the architectural 
proportions of subterranean as well as superterranean structures, of tumuli as well 
as fanes. . . . Populations of essentially different culture, tastes, and pursuits — 
the highly-civilised and the demi-civilised, the settled and nomadic— vied with each 
other in their superstitious adoration of it, and' in their efforts to extend the know- 
ledge of its exceptional import and virtue amongst their latest posterities. 

' Of the several varieties of the Cross still in vogue, as national and ecclesiastical 
emblems, and distinguished by the familiar appellations of St. George, St. Andrew, 
the Maltese, the Greek, the Latin, &c., &c., there is not one the existence of which 
may not be traced to the remotest antiquity. They were the common property of 
the Eastern nations. . . . That each known variety has been derived from a 
common source, and is emblematical therefore of one and the same truth, may be 
infeiTed from the fact of forms identically the same, whether simple or complex, 
cropping up in contrary directions, in the Western as well as in the Eastern hemi- 

' Amongst the earliest known type is the crux ansaia, vulgarly called ' the key 
of the Nile,' because of its being found sculptured or otherwise represented so fre- 


quently upon Egyptian and Coptic monuments. It has, however, a very much 
older and more sacred signification than this. It was the symbol of symbols, the 
mystical Tau, 'the hidden wisdom,' not only of the ancient Egyptians, but also of 
the Chaldaeans, Phoenicians, Mexicans, Peruvians, and of every other ancient 
people commemorated in history, in either hemisphere ; and is formed very simi- 
larly to our letter T, with a rouiidlet or oval placed immediately above it. . . . 
The most curious exhibition of it maybe seen on a stele from Khorsabad, whereon 
is depicted an eagle-headed man holding the circle in his right hand and the tau in 
his left hand. ... It seems to us almost indisputable that the oval or roiindlet 
constitutes an integral part of the symbol, and is not an accidental or convenient 
addition to it. 

* When the Spanish Missionaries first set foot upon the soil of America, in the 
fifteenth century, they were amazed to find that the Cross was as devoutly wor- 
shipped by the Red Indians as by themselves. . . . The hallowed symbol chal- 
lenged their attention on every hand and in almost every variety of form. . . . 
And, what is still more remarkable, the Cross was not only associated with other 
subjects corresponding in every particular with those delineated on Babylonian 
monuments, but it was also distinguished by the Catholic appellations, "the tree of 
subsistence," "the wood of health," " the emblem of life." 

* Another form of the Cross common to both hemispheres was the Maltese, the 
four delta-like arms of which, in the oldest known occurrences, are conjoined to or 
issue from the nave of a wheel or diminutive circle. ... It figures on the breasts 
of the most powerful monarchs pourtrayed on the Nineveh remains, now in the 
British Museum, of which the colossal tablet from Nimroud, bearing the super- 
scription of Ashur-idanni-pal, is a notable example. * It depends, with other sacred 
emblems, from the neck of the king. . . . And, when inserted in a roundlet^ as 
may be seen in the left-hand corner of the stele just mentioned, is emblematical of 
Sansi, or the Sun dominating the earth as well as the heavens.' 

N.B. — For further information on this subject reference maybe made to Part 
VI. App. 122. 

* This Tablet is represented in the Frontispiece, and is described in the Guide, 
printed by order of the Trustees of the British Museum, as ' a high arched slab, 
having in front a bas-i'elief of the King, with various Sacred symbols, and on the 
sides and back an invocation to the Assyrian gods, and a chronicle of the King's 
conquests.' The name of this King is now read as ' Assur-izir-pal, or Assur-nazir- 
pal, the earliest Assyrian monarch of whom any large monuments have been pro- 
cured, and who is believed to have reigned about B.C. 880.'